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.