Miami-Dade Democratic Party postpones Blue Forum & Fair over coronavirus concerns

Steve Simeonidis Miami-Dade Blue Gala
The Miami-Dade Democratic Party will be offering refunds.

The Miami-Dade Democratic Party is announcing it will postpone a scheduled gathering of local candidates and supporters amid concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus.

The “Blue Forum and Fair” was scheduled for Sunday, March 15 at the Firefighters’ Memorial Building in Doral. But Tuesday, Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chair Steve Simeonidis said the event was on hold.

“New cases are being reported every day in Florida,” Simeonidis said. “It is very likely that the reported cases are a severe undercount, and so out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to postpone the Blue Forum & Fair.”

Simeonidis’ comment that cases are likely undercounted stems from reports that U.S. officials have not yet enabled widespread testing for the COVID-19 virus. Once that testing occurs, infection numbers are expected to go up.

So far, 15 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in Florida. One of those cases is a nonresident. Another five Floridians have been returned to the U.S. by officials after testing positive overseas.

The Miami-Dade Democratic Party will be offering refunds to those who planned to attend Sunday’s event. But Simeonidis tells Florida Politics his group is looking to reschedule once the virus’s spread is under control.

“It’s our hope and intention that things will settle down and we’ll be able to set a date in the future,” Simeonidis noted.

The Blue Forum and Fair was set to feature a forum for county mayoral candidates. Miami-Dade County Commissioners Daniella Levine Cava and Jean Monestime were scheduled to attend, as was former Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas.

“We were going to be at capacity for the mayoral forum,” Simeonidis said. “There were going to be well in excess of 200 people there.”

He argued the crowd sizes played a role in postponing the event. A slate of state and local candidates were also confirmed to be in attendance, as were numerous activists and party officials.

Simeonidis said his organization made the decision out of an abundance of caution and didn’t receive any specific mandate from county officials to call off the event.

“It may not have been necessary. But I think it’s one of those decisions that we’d much rather cancel it, knowing that no one would have contracted it — as opposed to moving forward and having it passed on at our event and being responsible for that,” Simeonidis said.

“We were really looking forward to having all these folks at the event. But we have to do our part to ensure that we’re slowing the spread of things.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn