Two Central Florida first-year members of Congress — Stephanie Murphy and Darren Soto — are joining former U.S. Rep. Jim Davis and a group of Democrats determined to extend the party’s reach to centrist voters.
In what reads like an update of the earlier center-leaning Democratic Leadership Council, New Democracy has the explicit mandate to expand the party’s appeal, both demographically and geographically.
Leading New Democracy is Will Marshall, president and founder of the Progressive Policy Institute and a co-founder of the now defunct DLC, created in the aftermath of Walter Mondale‘s landslide 1984 loss to Ronald Reagan. Alumni include Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Florida’s Bob Buckhorn and Rick Kriseman.
Since Hillary Clinton‘s November defeat much has been made about the Democratic Party losing white, middle-class voters to Donald Trump, particularly in the industrial Midwest. In addition to losses in the House, Senate and White House to Republicans, Democrats have also dropped 900 seats in state legislatures over the past nine years.
Marshall said New Democracy will focus on four key priorities for building a bigger Democratic tent: reclaiming economic hope and progress; engaging voters across America’s cultural divides; decentralizing power to more effective and trusted local governments, and putting national and personal security first.
“Democrats don’t need to choose between center and left — we need to expand in all directions,” he added. “Building a broad coalition is the Party’s best chance of rectifying today’s dangerous imbalance of political power and stopping the harmful Trump-Republican agenda.”
Along with Florida Democrats enlisted to help guide New Democracy’s strategy is Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.