Next House Democrat Leader: 'Don't underestimate the power of the donkey' - Florida Politics

Next House Democrat Leader: ‘Don’t underestimate the power of the donkey’

After Florida House Democrats formally designated him as their next leader on Tuesday, state Rep. Kionne McGhee asked fellow Democrats in the Republican-controlled chamber to stay hopeful and not “underestimate the power of the donkey.”

“I am here to tell you on this day, in this defining moment, that we are the party of the donkey. We cannot underestimate the power of the donkey,” McGhee told a House floor filled with Democrats, family members and friends.

McGhee promised to end partisan “bickering,” adding that he did not come to Tallahassee to fight with the Republican Party of Florida — that’s a task that will be saved for Election Day, he said.

“Instead we came to Tallahassee to fight for that common ground that so many of us have seen and envisioned ourselves in that role to do,” he said.

McGhee, a former prosecutor from Miami whose challenges as a child included poverty, the murder of two family members, will replace Rep. Janet Cruz, a Tampa Democrat who is the current House Democratic Leader. He will lead the House Democrats during the 2018-20 legislative term.

McGhee was narrowly elected in March with a 23-17 vote, beating Fort Lauderdale Democrat Bobby Dubose.

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.
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