As FDP Chair election nears, Terrie Rizzo announces more endorsements


Ahead of the Florida Democratic Party Chair election this Saturday, where 182 electors will cast their vote, Palm Beach County Chair Terrie Rizzo said Monday she has secured the endorsements of 51 of them.

Under the weighted system, there are a total of 1,237 possible votes to be distributed among the three eligible candidates: Rizzo, Hillsborough County State Committeewoman Alma Gonzalez and Brevard County Democratic Executive Committee Chair Stacey Patel.

While Monica Russo, the current president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), has announced her bid to be the next party leader, she is not eligible to run, under current party rules. However, rumors have swirled among party members on her attempts to circumvent those rules ahead of the election.

So far, in the all-female chair race, Rizzo holds the lead.

“We have 70 percent of the votes needed to win the nomination based on the numbers of votes held by endorsements committed to use divided by the total votes available,” Rizzo said.

But Juan Cuba, the chairman of the Miami-Dade Democrats, said it’s early to tell who the projected winner will be.

“It’s a Byzantine process,” he said.

Cuba will cast the 62 votes of ousted party chair, Stephen Bittel — the most of any other party member other than Miami-Dade State Chairwoman Francesca Menes, who also has 62 votes. While Bittel is out as party chair, he has not yet stepped down from his committeeman post. He will do so once his successor is elected, Cuba said.

Cuba has asked members to vote their preference electronically on Friday, a day ahead of the election. And based on what the majority of the membership wants, he says he will cast his votes.

Here is a list of the new endorsers:

Orange County State Committeewoman, Lorraine Tuliano

Manatee State Committeewoman, Cornelle Maxfield

LGBTA Caucus President, Terry Fleming

Pasco State Committeewoman, Jocelyn Dickman

Veterans Caucus President, Philip Giorno

Glades County Committeewoman, Mary Giddens

Glades County Committeeman, John Capece

Hernando County State Committeewoman, Rebecca Fones

Hernando County State Committeeman, Raymond Fones

Citrus County State Committeewoman, Susan Reeder

Citrus County State Committeeman, Joseph Adams

Okeechobee State Committeeman, Weston Harvey

Hamilton State Committeewoman, Shauna Adams-Farries

Clubs, Orgs and Caucuses Chair, Beth McMillen

Broward County DEC Chair, Cynthia Busch

Washington County State Committeeman, Dale Metcalf

Nassau County State Committeeman, Phil Morton

Washington County State Committeewoman, Gina Metcalf

Prior endorsements include:

Congressman Alcee Hastings

Congresswoman Lois Frankel

Congressman Ted Deutch

St. Lucie County State Committeewoman, Margaret Benton

Volusia County DEC Chair, Jewel Dickson

Holmes County State Committeeman, Charles Smith

Hendry County State Committeeman, Ramon Rodriguez

Hendry County State Committeewoman, Sofia Rodriguez

Sarasota County DEC Chair, JoAnne DeVries

Senior Caucus President, Travis Bridges

Sumter County State Committeewoman, Ellen Cris Anderson 

American Muslim Democratic Caucus, Junaid Akther 

Seminole County Chair, Rob Bial 

Martin County State Committeewoman, Cristina De La Vega

Clay County State Committeeman, Bobby Poole

Hillsborough County State Committeeman, Russ Patterson

Hillsborough County DEC Chair, Ione Townsend

Student Caucus, Justin Atkins

Orange County State Committeeman, Doug Head

Osceola County State Committeeman, Casmore Shaw

Palm Beach County State Committeewoman, Deidre Newton

Palm Beach County State Committeeman, John Ramos

Pasco County State Committeeman, John Ford

Polk County DEC Chair, Shawn Kinsey

Charlotte County State Committeewoman, Lucy Garner

Charlotte County State Committeeman, Tom Garner

Collier County Chair, Yudy Barbera

Marion County State Committeewoman, Joyce Blake

Marion County State Committeeman, Marc Bruzdziak

Escambia County State Committeeman, Keith Hardy

Escambia County State Committeewoman, Dianne Krumel

Martin County State Committeeman, David Dew

Disability Caucus Chair, Bill Rettinger

Jewish Caucus Chair, Mark Winer

Small County Coalition Chair, Wendy Williams

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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