Mitch Perry, Author at Florida Politics - Page 3 of 365

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa for 15 years. Mitch can be reached at

Andrew Gillum questions Senate Democrats’ silence on Jack Latvala

While the Florida Democratic Party has called for Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater to step down in the wake of accusations of sexual harassment, only two of the 15 Democratic senators have followed suit.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum says that may be because of the institutional structure and the nature of relationships in the Senate, but he says that Latvala’s “attack dog” tactics are why he should resign.

“What you have in the Florida Senate is a lot of close relationships, a lot of folks who know each other, and a real unwillingness to enter into the divisive fray of having a colleague step down,” said the Tallahassee mayor, following an appearance at Tampa’s Oxford Exchange Friday morning.

“These are uncomfortable positions all the way around for everybody, but it does require leadership.”

One Democratic senator speaking out is Lauren Book, who earlier this week filed a formal complaint alleging that Latvala violated Senate rules by aggressively going after his one public accuser, Senate aide Rachel Perrin Rogers. She has accused Latvala of groping her and using degrading language to describe her body over a four-year period.

“I’ve been most disheartened by what appears to have been a full-on intimidation and attack dog approach when it comes to the victim,” Gillum said.

Last Saturday, Perrin Rogers’ attorney, Tiffany R. Cruz, asked the Office of Legislative Affairs to provide armed security for her client this week as she entered and exited the Capitol and worked in her office.

Gillum said the toxic level of fear that necessitated the request for security was a “horrible way to handle a sexual assault claim in the Florida Legislature.”

“That alone is enough for the Senate, and Senate leadership, to put his party, the institution, the health, the safety, the welfare of those individuals above his own personal interests there.”

An investigation is continuing on Perrin Rogers’ original charges of sexual harassment against Latvala. The Clearwater Republican has denied the allegations, saying the claims are political because he’s running for Governor.

Alma Gonzalez backed by Kathy Castor and Democratic Labor Caucus as chair election nears

Less than 48 hours before a select group of Florida Democrats chooses their new state leader, Alma Gonzalez announced a series of new endorsements in the race for the party’s state chair.

Tampa Rep. Kathy Castor announced that she was backing the Hillsborough County State Committeewoman, who is competing against Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee Chair Terrie Rizzo and Brevard County Democratic Executive Chair Stacey Patel.

“Alma Gonzalez has been fighting for working Floridians, students and seniors her entire career,” Castor said in a statement. “Alma is a passionate advocate for affordable health care, high-quality education, higher wages and a healthy and clean environment.  She is the right leader at the right time for our diverse and growing Florida Democratic Party, and I am proud to endorse her for Chair of the Party.  With Alma’s leadership, we are going to win the Governor’s mansion, keep  U.S. Senator Bill Nelson working for us, and win seats at every level — up and down the ballot — to benefit our neighbors across our great state.”

Tallahassee U.S. Rep. Al Lawson and state Reps. Bobby Dubose of Fort Lauderdale and Joseph Geller from Hollywood also announced their endorsements for Gonzalez, as did the Democratic Labor Caucus of Florida.

“Her long-held support of the struggle for economic justice for all working men and women, continuous union membership, professional legal background, institutional knowledge and experience as a past executive officer in the FDP, two-term member of the Democratic National Committee and experience as an elected county committeewoman has resulted in a majority vote of our governing council, in her favor,” said John C. Parker, the president of the Democratic Labor Caucus.

“As a lifelong union member and activist, my labor brothers and sisters are family. I am proud to have their support,” Gonzalez said. “My involvement in the labor movement has taught me the importance of standing together in solidarity to face the challenges that our working families are dealing with every day.”

That previous labor background includes years serving as legal counsel for the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the state’s biggest government employees union and a potent political force in Tallahassee.

The Florida Democratic Black, Hispanic and Caribbean caucuses have each previously endorsed Gonzalez.

Approximately 182 Florida Democrats will decide on who will become the next party chair Saturday in Orlando.

Jimmy Patronis visits Tampa to fight for first responder workers comp bill

Ever since the 9/11 attacks, the nation hails firefighters and other first responders as heroes for entering burning buildings while others run away.

However, in Florida, workers’ compensation does not cover mental stress injuries of first responders dealing with intense experiences. In some circumstances, PTSD is covered, but only if accompanied by a physical injury.

Megan Vila is seeking to change that.

The Tampa resident has been laser-focused on revising the evidentiary standards for demonstrating mental and nervous injuries of first responders ever since her brother, Stephen “Stevie” LaDue,  killed himself on September 5.

For 29 years, LaDue served as a firefighter with the city of Tampa.

LaDue had witnessed numerous traumatic calls, involving suicides and children’s deaths, which stayed with him over the decades. While attending a funeral for a retired firefighter, another firefighter went into cardiac arrest during the eulogy, an event that ultimately triggered Stevie’s PTSD.

Vila says Stevie struggled with work after that incident and filed a workers compensation claim. However, he was back at work two months later because state law says the claim isn’t covered.

Having to pay back the time missed, “put my brother into a deeper depression,” Vila told an audience of fellow firefighters and media Thursday afternoon at the Tampa Firefighters Museum.

Vila is pushing the state Legislature to pass a bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. Lauren Book of Plantation (SB 376) and Orange County Republican Rene Plasencia and Palm Beach Democrat Matt Willhite (HB 227) in the House that would provide for workers comp for first responders without an accompanying physical injury.

“Mental health is an important part of this conversation. It’s a complex issue,” said Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis, who is traveling up and down the state to advocate for the bill’s passage. “We have to ensure that our firefighters and first responders are having the necessary resources in order to deal with this.”

Patronis is still relatively new on the job, having succeeded Jeff Atwater earlier this year after he stepped down. Part of the CFO’s job is to serve as the state’s fire marshal.

A survey of more than 4,000 first responders found that 6.6 percent had attempted suicide, which is more than 10 times the rate in the general population, according to a 2015 article published in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services.

“This is unacceptable,” Patronis said.

Historically, cities and counties have objected to similar legislation in the past, as Patronis acknowledged.

“Our municipal and county governments, they have a budget to balance.  They sometimes have anxiety they see what they could perceive to be an unfunded mandate,” the CFO said.

Florida Politics reached out to the Florida League of Cities and League of Counties for a response to the proposed legislation. Neither group immediately responded.

Minnesota passed a similar bill in 2013, and Vila says she’s been told by a League of Cities official there that since the bill’s passage, 62 claims have come forward at a total cost of $1.2 million.

“That’s it,” she said.”How much is a firefighter’s life worth?”

Karl Nurse surprised with Sierra Club honor during one of his final City Council meetings

Long before he was a member of the St. Petersburg City Council, Karl Nurse was an environmental activist. So it’s no surprise during his time in office he’s built a long and distinguished record on the environment.

With just weeks left in his Council career, the local lawmaker was surprised Thursday when he was feted by members of the Florida Suncoast Sierra Club, which gave Nurse its highest honor, the Black Bear Award, at the beginning of the Council meeting.

While giving a short speech, Nurse grew emotional, saying that “dramatic progress” has been made locally on environmental issues, and that he was extremely optimistic about his successor, Gina Driscoll, keeping up his legacy.

But he also fears for his country.

“I wake up every morning and read The New York Times, and I’m horrified by what’s happening in Washington,” Nurse said, referring to the actions of the Trump administration.

“This is the worst environmental administration in our nation’s history, and there is a militant desire to destroy our natural lands, but happily, all across the country and in our communities, people are moving to protect our environment,” he said.

He quoted what his father told him when he became a Boy Scout: Leave the place better than the way he found it.

“I have good colleagues who will continue the work, and I love you all,” he said in signing off.

“What an inspiration you are for all of us,” responded Council Chair Darden Rice.

Nurse was appointed to serve on the Council to replace the late Ernest Williams in April 2008. He was elected for the first time in 2009 and re-elected in 2013. His term expires January 2.

Vern Buchanan wants Lois Lerner’s secret testimony in IRS scandal unsealed

Vern Buchanan is now the first member of Congress to call for a federal court to unseal secret testimony from former IRS senior executive Lois Lerner.

Lerner and her immediate subordinate, Holly Paz, emerged as two key figures after it was discovered in 2013 that the IRS had given extra scrutiny to hundreds of conservative groups seeking nonprofit status leading up to the 2012 presidential campaign.

Much of those actions took place at the IRS’ nonprofit determination offices in downtown Cincinnati, which the agency later deemed “improper.” Lerner and Paz headed the division from Washington. The revelations led to the resignations of several top officials, including the former head of the IRS.

Lerner and Paz filed a motion with U.S. District Court Judge Michael R. Barrett last month asking that tapes and transcripts of their depositions be forever kept secret from the public, saying that they feared for their safety.

But an attorney representing Tea Party groups says that any instances of harassment took place nearly four years ago, and is arguing that the courts who’ll deny their request and open the docket for public inspection. The secrecy issues are among those remaining in a class-action lawsuit covering hundreds of Tea Party groups that faced illegal scrutiny in their nonprofit status applications.

“Lois Lerner betrayed the nation’s trust yet managed to avoid accountability and criminal charges,” says Buchanan, the Sarasota Republican who chairs the oversight subcommittee responsible for the IRS. “Now she wants to keep her role in the illegal targeting scheme secret, free from public scrutiny. What is she hiding? The public deserves answers.”

The Justice Department, class action plaintiffs, and multiple news organizations including The Wall Street Journal and Cincinnati Enquirer have all since requested unsealing documents in the case.

In October, the Justice Department announced that it had agreed to a $3.5 million settlement with groups that were targeted based on their political leanings.

The financial agreement was based partly on the secret testimony of Lerner.

According to a three-year investigation by the House Ways and Means committee, Lerner used her position to improperly influence agency action against conservative organizations, denying these groups due process and equal protection rights under the law. She impeded official investigations by providing misleading statements in response to questions from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and may have disclosed confidential taxpayer information.

Buchanan isn’t the only Republican calling to unseal the records.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, a former U.S. senator running for Ohio governor next year, joined the Cincinnati Enquirer’s side last week by filing an amicus brief, according to

After the Justice Department told the House Ways & Means Committee in September they would not prosecute Lerner, Buchanan strongly objected.

Florida Democratic chair candidates weigh in on ‘open primaries’

Florida is one of just 13 states with a closed-primary election system, meaning only voters registered as a Republican or Democrat can participate in a primary election.

While that may have worked out just fine for the major political parties, many say it doesn’t work for the public, demonstrated by those increasingly opting to bypass the two major parties and register as “no party affiliation” or with a third party.

No-party-affiliation is the fastest growing segment of the electorate and is particularly popular with young people, with more than one out of every four Florida voters falling into that category.

The issue has been discussed among Democrats in Florida with increasing intensity in recent years, with no clear consensus. In advance of the election for chair Saturday in Orlando, Florida Politics reached out to the three candidates to get their take on this issue.

Stacey Patel, Brevard County Democratic Executive Committee Chair — Yes.

“As a Democrat, I believe in democracy and self-determination for all Floridians and believe voting is a right of every American. Nearly 3.5 million Floridians are disenfranchised due to closed primaries according to the League of Women Voters. I support opening our primaries to NPAs as an expression of our values as Democrats.”

“While I support opening Democratic primaries to NPAs, I do not support a ‘top-two’ primary.”

Alma Gonzalez, Hillsborough State Committeewoman — No.

“I’m very comfortable with our closed primary system, because it allows you to vet  those people who say they want to be part of me, and believe in the democratic principals which I believe.”

“I have been supportive of that. I haven’t seen any new data, or research that would indicate to me that we need to change that. I know that folks feel differently, because of the growing NPA folks, but I think that it’s incumbent upon me as a Democrat and as a  Democratic leader, go and persuade those folks to choose the democratic brand and if we’re not doing that, well, we have to do better.

Terrie Rizzo, Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee Chair — No.

“I do not favor open primaries.  Most Democrats I know (& likely most Republicans) don’t think that persons who are not members of the party should determine the party’s nominees. We are going to encourage as many NPA’s as possible to become Democrats and vote in the primary.”

“As such, I am open to the concept of same-day registration, which includes registration changes such as NPA to D.  There is strong evidence that same day/Election Day registration increases voter turnout. According to the data, immediately following the implementation of SDR, states usually see a boost in voter numbers. Same day registration states also tend to outperform other states in terms of turnout percentages. Multiple studies place the effect between an increase of 3 to 7 percent, with an average of a 5 percent increase. “

(Rizzo’s statement was sent to Florida Politics via Steve Hough, director of Florida Fair and Open Primaries).

Last month, Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) member Bill Schifino introduced a proposal to place a constitutional amendment on open primaries on the 2018 ballot. Advocates are calling on the entire Commission to embrace Schifino’s proposal, which would first need to pass the Ethics and Elections Committee of the CRC.

Janet Cruz backs Alma Gonzalez in race for Florida Democratic chair

Janet Cruz came out Wednesday in support of fellow Hillsborough County Democrat Alma Gonzalez in Saturday’s election for Florida Democratic Party chair.

“Alma’s experience and background will make her a strong voice for Florida’s working families, women, minorities and young people who feel threatened and uncertain by what they see coming out of Tallahassee and Washington,” said Cruz, who serves as Florida Democratic House Minority Leader.

“As Democratic Leader, I have watched too many legislators embrace the extremist agenda of Rick Scott and Donald Trump. Floridians need more Democrats in Tallahassee to preserve our environment for future generations, provide quality health care, and ensure that our public schools are fully funded,” Cruz said. “As chair, Alma Gonzalez will be the leader our party needs.”

Cruz gets 10 weighted votes. She also has 5 additional appointments from the House Democratic Caucus, each getting one vote.

A maximum of 1,237 votes are up for grabs Saturday, distributed among 182 physical voters, who will choose between Gonzalez, Palm Beach County DEC Chair Terrie Rizzo and Brevard County DEC Chair Stacey Patel. 

The SEIU’s Monica Russo dropped out of the race earlier Wednesday.

Fifty-one voters publicly stated they are backing Russo, though Gonzalez believes the race remains extremely fluid.

Cruz joins Florida’s Democratic Black, Hispanic and Caribbean caucuses, which are each supporting Gonzalez’s bid. If elected, Gonzalez would become the Florida Democratic Party’s first female Hispanic chair.

“Leader Cruz has been fighting in the trenches on behalf of hardworking people across Florida who want a government that understands the issues they face every day. She is a fierce leader and advocate for all Floridians,” Gonzalez said. “I am deeply honored to have her support.”

GOP AG candidates want death penalty for Seminole Heights killer case

If found guilty of murder, the accused Seminole Heights killer should receive the death penalty, so say Republican attorney general candidates Ashley Moody and Ross Spano.

In a letter Wednesday to Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren, Spano, who also serves as the chair of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee in the Florida Legislature, says the facts in the case “warrant a prompt decision to seek the death penalty.”

Warren previously declared he could seek the death penalty against Howell “Trai” Donaldson III, who is suspected of shooting four people over 51 days.

He repeated that Wednesday night while speaking to the media.

“If there is a legal basis to seek the death penalty, and it’s consistent with the wishes of the victims’ families, we intend to seek the death penalty,” Warren told reporters in Tampa. He was not available to comment on Spano’s letter later in the day.

Spano isn’t satisfied with that response, and he asked what legal basis Warren would need to refuse to seek the death penalty.

“It is time for you to decisively pursue justice,” the Dover Republican wrote.

Spano is involved in a four-way race for the Republican nomination for attorney general against Moody, a former Hillsborough County circuit judge, and state Reps. Jay Fant and Frank White. 

Moody said she would also call for the death penalty.

“If I were in State Attorney Warren’s shoes I would seek the death penalty for anyone found guilty of these heinous acts,” she said in a statement. “This is exactly the type of premeditated murder case that would merit the death penalty, and the victims and their families deserve justice.”

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said last week that he too would like to see Donaldson executed if found guilty in a court of law.

Ryan Torrens, the lone Democrat running for attorney general, said he would not dictate what Warren should do.

“I’ve said the attorney general’s office needs to decide these cases on a case-by-case basis, and I would not want state attorney try to tell me how to do my job,” he said. “I do not feel it appropriate for me to try to tell Andrew how to do his job. This is his decision, and I’m going to live it to him to make that decision.”

Donaldson III, 24, was arrested last week and accused of the killings, seemingly at random, in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa in October and November. Anthony Naiboa, Monica Hoffa, Benjamin Mitchell and Ronald Felton were all shot and killed in separate incidents while walking alone at night or in the early morning in the neighborhood.

Donaldson’s father, Howell Donaldson Jr., refused to answer questions posed to him by Hillsborough County prosecutors earlier this week. A hearing has been scheduled Thursday before County Judge Margaret Taylor on whether Donaldson’s parents, Howell Jr. and Rosita Donaldson, should answer such questions.

House advances bill giving regulators sole discretion on underground power lines

Legislation to give the Florida Public Service Commission “exclusive jurisdiction” for deciding whether underground transmission lines are required for power-plant projects advanced through a House committee Wednesday.

Pace Republican Jayer Williamson, who co-sponsored the bill in the House with Palatka Republican Bobby Payne (HB 405), told the House Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee that while the language in the official bill is cumbersome, it essentially does three main things:

— It revises the definition of the word “development” to exclude work done by certain utility providers through certain corridors;

—  requires a concrete certain uniform variance standard, and

— clarifies that the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) has exclusive jurisdiction to require underground transmission lines.

The bill passed on a 13-1 vote.

Dave Cullen with the Sierra Club was the only member of the public to speak out against the bill. He said his organization opposed the legislation when it was introduced in the 2017 regular Legislative Session because it had the potential of creating 350-foot towers going through Everglades National Park.

“I understand this is an issue; if this bill passes, FP&L (Florida Power and Light) could bring that proposal right back to the PSC, and we could be right back where it is,” Cullen told the committee. “Fundamentally we think localities have to have the ability to make the decisions that their constituents and residents want.”

David Childs, with the Florida Electric Power Coordinating Group, said the PSC would have the exclusive authority to require undergrounding power lines, but Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet would have the final say over any environmental impacts to an area.

The issue goes back to 2014, when the governor and the Cabinet, acting as the state’s power-plant siting board, approved an FPL nuclear-power project in Miami-Dade County. The 3rd District Court of Appeal overturned that decision, ruling in favor of local governments.

The appeals court ruling said Scott and Cabinet members erroneously determined they could not require underground transmission lines as a condition of the project approval. FPL argued that the Public Service Commission — not Scott and the Cabinet — had authority over issues involving installation of underground lines.

Thonotosassa Republican Tom Lee filed a companion bill in the Senate.

Monica Russo bows out of run for Florida Democratic Party chair

Even though she was never officially eligible, Monica Russo has been running for the past few weeks to become the next party chair of the Florida Democratic Party — until Wednesday.

In a statement, Russo, the president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Florida and executive vice president at 1199 SEIU in Miami, said she would not pursue what appeared to be a quixotic attempt to win the election as next party chair.

“As soon as I sought election, I learned that the Democratic Party’s rules and structures are closed and exclusive,” she says. “The rules do not make those who have fought alongside the Democratic Party feel welcome. This holds progress back, and changes are clearly needed.  Though I am not eligible to run for Chair, I still plan on continuing my push for these common-sense reforms.”

Russo is not a local party chair or state committeewoman, which continues to be the only way to become a candidate for FDP Chair. Though there has been talk about reforming that law, it won’t happen before Saturday, when state Democrats will convene in Orlando to elect a new chair.

To become eligible, Russo would have had to move out of Miami-Dade County, a maneuver previous party leaders have used but which Russo rejected. Or Democrats could have changed the rules during Saturday’s meeting, something that would have required a two-thirds vote and which would have been unlikely to succeed.

The race is now officially between three candidates: Hillsborough County State Committeewoman Alma Gonzalez, Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee Chair Terrie Rizzo and Brevard County Democratic Executive Chair Stacey Patel.

“We must open up the party so that all Democrats feel welcome and engaged,” Russo said in her statement. “Our power lies in grassroots leaders and we need to welcome new activists and young people into our fold because it is not just about how much money a person can raise or the existing connections a person may have — it is about giving everyone a seat at the table.”

Russo’s critique mirrors that of other activists, including former party Chairwoman Allison Tant, who have called on Democratic leaders to revise the manner in which the party boss is chosen.

The party’s by-laws not only require potential candidates for the chairmanship to be county leaders, but executive-committee votes are based on a complicated formula that takes into account the number of registered voters in each county and how they cast their ballots in the most-recent general election.

Critics complain that the system gives too much power to party “insiders” and to Democratic strongholds in the highly populated Southeast Florida counties of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach.

“It’s ridiculous,” Tant told The News Service of Florida.

Tant said Barack Obama could have moved to Florida and been ineligible to become the head of the state party.

“It limits our ability to be effective when we can only choose from a small cadre of people,” Tant said.

The fight over a new leader comes at a critical time for Florida Democrats, who were hoping to pick up several legislative seats next year and are facing the likelihood of being outspent in statewide races for governor, state Cabinet and the U.S. Senate.

Party activists were hoping to go into 2018 riding a wave of momentum generated by two critical victories this fall. State Sen. Annette Taddeo won a heated special election in September, recapturing a Miami-Dade County seat long held by Democrats. In St. Petersburg, incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, a former Democratic state House member, retained his position after a fierce contest against former Mayor Rick Baker.

But the victory laps were tarnished by separate controversies involving Bittel and former state Sen. Jeff Clemens, who quit his legislative post after admitting he had an extramarital affair with a lobbyist. Clemens was slated to take over as head of the Senate Democrats after next year’s elections.

Now, Democrats — who have long struggled with infighting between factions — face the prospect of attempting to unify behind the second party boss in less than a year.

You can read Russo’s entire statement below:

“For 30 years, I have dedicated my life to empowering working class folks across Florida and the South — from the Maries from Haiti to the Miss Morgans from the South and the Angels from Cuba.

“I put my hat in the ring for Florida Democratic Party Chair to ensure that every day Floridians are front and center in the Party — not lobbyists or big donors.  The Florida Democratic Party needs to step out of the past and rigorously rejuvenate and empower grassroots leaders and give them the tools, support, and recognition they need for their organizing.

“We need to be more intentional about being open, inclusive, and cross-generational, a Party where Floridians from every community in all 67 counties feel like they belong.  We have to take the time to do this and not only listen, but learn.

“As soon as I sought election, I learned that the Democratic Party’s rules and structures are closed and exclusive. The rules do not make those who have fought alongside the Democratic Party feel welcome. This holds progress back, and changes are clearly needed.  Though I am not eligible to run for Chair, I still plan on continuing my push for these common-sense reforms.

“First on the list: we must open up the party so that all Democrats feel welcome and engaged.  Our power lies in grassroots leaders and we need to welcome new activists and young people into our fold because it is not just about how much money a person can raise or the existing connections a person may have — it is about giving everyone a seat at the table.

“We need to make sure that the Party’s investments go into building a permanent field infrastructure — including recruiting, training, and cultivating new leaders in all 67 counties, specifically in communities that don’t currently feel served by Democrats.

“We need to clearly show that we are on the side of everyday Floridians, including those who can’t afford health care and child care, those who are forced to make the decision between paying the rent or putting food on their table, or have kids pushed out of school and into prison — a hyper-majority of whom are from communities of color.

“Twenty years of Republican leadership has left Florida near the bottom in national rankings around affordable housing, access to health care, education, and more.

“And twenty years of the current Democratic strategy has been ineffective and has not brought Floridians together.  Too many people believe that the Democratic Party is out of touch with their everyday concerns.  We need to build a party that focuses on creating an economy that works for everyone, including a $15 minimum wage, expanding Medicaid, winning health care for all, free education, affordable housing, and strong unions so that workers have a voice in building their future.

“I do not need to be the Chair of the Democratic Party to continue the labor of love to which I have dedicated my work and my life.

“I look forward to working with the next Florida Democratic Party Chair on this and other ways we can ensure all Floridians win and more importantly thrive in 2018 and beyond.”

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report

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