Alan Clendenin won’t run for Florida Democratic Party chair

alan clendenin 2

Alan Clendenin will not run in the race to succeed Stephen Bittel as chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, the Hillsborough Democrat confirmed to Florida Politics on Monday.

Bittel stepped down Friday following a POLITICO Florida report of anonymous allegations of sexually charged, inappropriate behavior. He made his announcement after all four Democratic Party gubernatorial nominees called for him to resign.

“I’ve decided not to seek the FDP Chair position,” Clendenin wrote in a text message to Florida Politics. “I am going to focus on my position as the DNC Southern Caucus Chair and supporting folks seeking office in 2018.”

Clendenin finished second in the past two elections for FDP Chair — to Bittel last January and Allison Tant back in 2013. And while he said his phone has rung off the hook over the past 24 hours following Bittel’s resignation, Clendenin noted that he was much more interested in making sure that the party is unified with less than a year to go before the 2018 midterm elections.

“I think more than anything else that we have somebody in the chair’s seat who will be effective and turnkey and unifying,” Clendenin said. “So whether that’s me or someone else, I think that’s the most important element of this, and I think that’s more of an informal discussion everybody will have.”

Now, Clendenin says that candidate won’t be him.

Clendenin was elected last month as chair of the Democratic National Committee Southern Caucus and says with so much at stake in 2018, “this is not a time to screw around.”

Before Bittel’s resignation, the FDP had been on a roll, winning the special election in Senate District 40 with Annette Taddeo and the St. Petersburg mayor’s contest. But there are some in the party who are OK with his resignation.

“The party works for us, not the other way around,” says Chief Financial Officer candidate Jeremy Ring. He says that under Bittel, the party apparatus showed “zero interest in my race.”

“We asked them for the simplest of things, and we couldn’t even get them to do an email swap with us,” Ring said Friday, shortly before Bittel officially stepped down.

“I think it’s incumbent that they stay focused on Cabinet seats and state legislative seats, ” Ring adds. “Everything isn’t just about the top of the ticket.”

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 since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected]


4 comments

  • Richard Piper

    November 18, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Correction: Jeremy Ring is running for CFO. Ryan Torrens is running for attorney general.

  • Brett upthagrove

    November 18, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    What do you think about Jeff Clemens as a successor to the fdp chair

  • Dr. Jeffrey Solomon

    November 18, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Judy Mount has been more emersed in day to day Tallahassee Democratic politics than any other single individual I’m aware of for well over a decade. She has the personality, intellect, and experience we need from a Chair. I dont think anyone familiar with her would argue that point. She can keep our favorable momentum going with continuing success across the board from the top down through 2018 – in my opinion.

  • Roy

    November 19, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Let’s see — Alan Clendenin ran for school board in Hillsborough County and came in FOURTH. Yeah, he’d be a great candidate.

Comments are closed.


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