Terrie Rizzo announces 22 endorsements, giving her early lead in Dem chair race - Florida Politics

Terrie Rizzo announces 22 endorsements, giving her early lead in Dem chair race

In the race to become the next Florida Democratic Party chair, a position left vacant by ousted Stephen Bittel, Palm Beach County Democratic Chair Terrie Rizzo is already hoarding endorsements.

In her two-day grassroots bid to be the next state party leader, Rizzo announced Wednesday over 20 endorsements, which she says account for more than 40 percent of the vote necessary to secure the chairmanship.

Here are the names of those who have endorsed her:

  • Martin County State Committeewoman, Cristina De La Vega
  • Clay County State Committeeman, Bobby Poole
  • Hillsborough County State Committeeman, Russ Patterson
  • Hillsborough County DEC Chair, Ione Townsend
  • Student Caucus, Justin Atkins
  • Orange County State Committeeman, Doug Head
  • Osceola County State Committeeman, Casmore Shaw
  • Palm Beach County State Committeewoman, Deidre Newton
  • Palm Beach County State Committeeman, John Ramos
  • Pasco County State Committeeman, John Ford
  • Polk County DEC Chair, Shawn Kinsey
  • Charlotte County State Committeewoman, Lucy Garner
  • Charlotte County State Committeeman, Tom Garner
  • Collier County Chair, Yudy Barbera
  • Marion County State Committeewoman, Joyce Blake
  • Marion County State Committeeman, Marc Bruzdziak
  • Escambia County State Committeeman, Keith Hardy
  • Escambia County State Committeewoman, Dianne Krumel
  • Martin County State Committeeman, David Dew
  • Disability Caucus Chair, Bill Rettinger
  • Jewish Caucus Chair, Mark Winer
  • Small County Coalition Chair, Wendy Williams

The hasty election comes after Bittel resigned following reports that he was demeaning toward women in the workplace, and systematically talked about sex with female staffers. Before the former leader officially stepped down from his post, a date for the election of his successor was scheduled for Dec. 9.

So far, Rizzo and Hillsborough County State Committeewoman Alma Gonzalez are in the race. Monica Russo is rumored to jump in the race.

Ana covers politics and policy for Florida Politics. Before joining Florida Politics, she was the legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press and covered policy issues impacting immigration, the environment, criminal justice and social welfare in Florida. She holds a B.A. in journalism from San Diego State University. After graduating in 2014, she worked as a criminal justice reporter for the Monterey Herald and the Monterey County Weekly. She has also freelanced for The Washington Post at the U.S.-Mexico border covering crime in the border city of Tijuana, where she grew up. Ana is fluent in Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese.


  1. Hello, I noticed that this post was only done about 4 hours ago but you have failed to include Stacey Patel who has announced today and there has been an amazing social media Frenzy in support of her. I can show you some information from Facebook and lead you to a group where you can get information as well of her progress. Thanks!

  2. For the Record Stacey Patel of the Brevard County DEC is in the running as well, btw we are the Space Coast. Donald Trump did just invest what approx 16 billion dollars in our NASA, Space X is here, Patrick Air Force Base is here along with Unite Launch Alliance at the very same space center. Btw our port canaveral is now an International port established by Rick Scott, our Sheriff Wayne Ivey is personal pals with 45 which means he visits here all the time and drives down our i95 interstate. We are a Red County in Red State and we have got the most turn around than any other county, and best of our Stacey Patel is not establishment which is the will of the people that FDP and the DNC cant seem to get. BTW she is also married to a person of color, not that it matters ijs….. ok maybe just a little.

    1. I am happy to make one positive correction to your post: Brevard is a red county in a BLUE state! Yes, that’s right. Blue by a couple of hundred thousand. FL Dems to vote and we are winners! Why don’t Dems vote? We have to find out.

      1. Sharon Kolor, Stacey Patel got Democratic turnout in Brevard to rise enough that in several recent local races where registered Republican voters significantly outnumbered their Democratic couterparts, the Democratic candidates were able to score significant victories. She knows how to get out the votes for Democratic candidates. If she can do that for Brevard, one of the reddest counties in the nation, just imagine what she can do for blue Florida.

          1. Impressive. Who are the winning Dems? I would like to read up on them. (My previous post had an incorrect email address.)

  3. Hello, I am just spreading the news that grassroots leadership superstar and Brevard County DEC Chair Stacey Patel has announced today and there has been an amazing social media Frenzy in support of her from all around the state. I can show you some information from Facebook and lead you to a group where you can get information as well of her progress. You can see it yourself if you search for the Facebook group called ” this is #ourparty. stacey for fdp.” Thanks!

    Giancarlo from Key West

  4. What’s wrong with you? Stacey Patel doesn’t get a mention? She’s going to take the position and we are going to approach our Party via grassroots. Terrie Rizzo is damn near irrelevant.

  5. Although comments regarding the space coast and Stacy Patel makes her an outstanding candidate for Republican of the year.

  6. All the comments regarding the space coast and Stacy Patel makes her an outstanding candidate for Republican of the year.

    1. So in your eyes, someone who organizes grassroots campaigns getting big money out of politics, promotes single payer healthcare is republican? 😂😂😂 thanks for giving my morning a laugh

    2. Stacey is not a Republican, and we do not appreciate the hatchet job that you’re trying to do. If you would like to smear all of the grassroots energy that the people of Brevard, and all over the state have, then go right ahead. But if you want to get in to the business of getting busy in the fight for justice, then either join us or step aside. If you think Stacey is a Republican, then I would be proud if you called me the same.

  7. Way to go getting nasty in the comments up there, folks. It’s common for a candidate who has some key endorsements to be written up in the news, blogs and such but I guess not everyone has been around politics for very long. Terri Rizzo is a seasoned, fair, intelligent, organized, inclusive woman AND an exceptional motivator and fundraiser. She is highly respected around Palm Beach County, Florida and nationally too. I have dear friends who are also supporting Ms Patel so, I’m sure she would be an excellent choice if elected, but for someone to state that Terrie Rizzo would be irrelevant. Just No! Ms Patel would be able to learn a great deal from Mrs Rizzo, and bring the various splinters of our State party together again. Something sorely lacking for a long time here in FL-duh. Lets all work to make our state and our party better and stronger, not more splintered. PLEASE!

  8. I’ve had the honor of knowing Palm Beach County DEC Chair Terrie Rizzo for a little more than a year. Terrie is one of the most tireless, committed, well organized, intelligent, conscientious, affable and inspirational people I’ve ever known during my 30 years of involvement in state and local politics. Terrie is a natural born leader who leads by example. She is totally her own woman, and she has no predisposition toward any faction. She’s a faithful Democrat who has also led DCCA as the Chair of Chairs with grace and a spirit of boundless energy. Through her work leading The Palm Beach County DEC (Florida’s third largest) and DCCA and her work as a member of the Florida delegation to the DNC, Terrie has gained national exposure and respect from Key West to Seattle and from Honolulu to Bangor. As such, Terrie Rizzo is ready to take the gavel and lead Florida Democrats on our mission to flip Florida blue and achieve a better Florida. I enthusiastically urge my fellow Florida Democrats to join me in supporting a great Democrat and an amazing woman, Terrie Rizzo in her quest to become the next Chair of the Florida Democratic Party.

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