The Florida Democratic Party announced their intent Tuesday to pump $2 million over the next five months into over 50 down-ballot elections this cycle at the city, county and state legislative level.
The funding will be provided through FDP’s new Elections Department and will be used to provide candidates with data, organizing and communications support.
“The policies that improve our lives are just as often local as they are national and we need more Democratic elected officials passing law and policy at the local level,” said Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo. “We are dedicating $2 million to elect local leaders who will expand access to affordable health care, quality public education, equal opportunity and equal justice in cities and counties across the state.”
To carry out the job, the FDP tapped Rosy Gonzalez Speers to serve as the first ever senior adviser for Down Ballot Elections.
“Rosy Gonzalez Speers has a distinguished track record in Democratic politics,” Rizzo said. “She was the founding Executive Director of Forward Florida, has run national and statewide campaigns and remains a trusted adviser to national leaders of our party. We welcome her to the Florida Democratic Party.”
Gonzales Speers is a first generation American from the Dominican Republic and previously served as the finance director for the Massachusetts Democratic Party and as political director for Gov. Deval Patrick.
“Every election is important, but the election this year will determine the character of the state for generations,” Gonzalez Speers said. “In order to Flip Florida Blue, we must have victories up and down the ballot and drive turnout from the bottom up, as well from the top down. In a one percent state, every vote counts.”
The new Elections Department will encompass the Municipal Victory Program chaired by Miami Commissioner Ken Russell and led by Lisa Peth.
Individual donors and organizations such as Florida Forward and the Florida Alliance have donated more than $1 million toward the department’s effort.