Florida Democratic Party

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic candidate for Florida Governor Andrew Gillum said his life and elected experience makes him the most qualified candidate running for the position.

Today on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Florida Times-Union Tallahassee Bureau Chief Tia Mitchell (01:15) regarding her recent column regarding a rift between the Florida Democratic chairman and African-American officials and if the party takes them for granted. Local attorney David Ward and director of World Relief-Jacksonville Jose Vega (23:02) discussed the refugee crisis and the Supreme Court’s decision to lift the hold on President Trump’s travel ban. Servpro chief operations manager Chandler St. Peter (44:31) told us about environmentally friendly ways to prepare for hurricane season. 


       

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, shared her mother’s support for expanded child care and parental leave at the All Saints Early Childhood Center in Jacksonville Thursday evening.

Florida’s 2014 election cycle ended with disappointment for Democrats and many victories for Republicans.

Florida GOP wins include the gubernatorial race, the Cabinet—particularly the Attorney General’s race—and gaining a supermajority in the Florida House after several Democrats lost some seats.

“Well, obviously we got beat,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant. “We got beat across the nation. We got beat in Florida.”

She says the party is now looking to move forward to do better in future races.

Florida Democratic Party officials say they won’t rule out naming another challenger to state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater in the wake of the party’s prohibitive nominee dropping out of the race. The party is searching for a replacement for Allie Braswell Jr., who stepped away from the race just days after entering it.

Last Thursday, the Central Florida Urban League President announced he’d mount a 2014 challenge to incumbent Florida CFO Atwater.

Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett is facing calls to resign from state Democrats. Bennett is accused of changing school grades during his tenure as Indiana’s schools chief, but the story in Florida seems more about politics than policy.

As head of Indiana’s public schools, Tony Bennett implemented a school grading system similar to Florida’s. The first year Indiana schools received a report card was 2012. But before the report cards were released, Bennett says he and other Indiana officials were made aware of problems:

The Florida Democratic Party is launching a campaign to expose who they say is the “Real Rick Scott”. Party officials say defeating Scott will be a challenge, especially since no big name Democrats have officially declared their candidacy for next year’s race.  

The Dems are taking to Twitter and Facebook in an effort to reach out to key independent voters.