Terrie Rizzo keeps early Dem chair race lead with 33 endorsements

Terrie Rizzo background

With the endorsement of 33 voting members, Palm Beach County Democratic Chair Terrie Rizzo is inching toward gathering the 51 percent of the votes needed to secure the Florida Democratic Party chairmanship.

“Each of the men and women who have publicly endorsed my candidacy does so because they share my vision for a 67-county strategy, continued investment in the grassroots and our core mission to protect every voter’s right,” Rizzo said.

The four-person race to be the next leader of the state’s party will come to a halt Dec. 9, when the State Executive Committee elects its new chair. And so far, Rizzo continues to have the early lead.

Ousted Stephen Bittel has not yet stepped down from his committeeman post, but has asked Juan Cuba, chairman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Executive Committee, to cast his 62 votes toward who gets to be his successor.

Cuba said he is asking members to enter their preference electronically, and that he will vote accordingly, based on what the majority wants.

So far, the all-female cast in the race includes Rizzo, Hillsborough County State Committeewoman Alma Gonzalez, Brevard County Democratic Executive Committee Chair Stacey Patel, and Monica Russo, a prominent Democrat who wants to expand the rules of the party to be eligible to run. Russo is the current president of the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) Florida.

Ana Ceballos

Ana covers politics and policy Before joining the News Service of Florida she wrote for the Naples Daily News and 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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