The Miami-Dade Democratic Party has given Chair Steve Simeonidis another term after a party vote at a virtual meeting Monday evening.
Simeonidis earned a wide array of endorsements in his bid to lead the local party. Simeonidis worked as general counsel for the Miami-Dade Dems before taking over as chairman in February 2019. He replaced Juan Cuba, who resigned as chair in January of that year.
Simeonidis’ new term will run for four years.
Eddie Lewis, a longtime member of the Democratic Executive Committee, made a last-minute bid for the chair position Monday night.
“This is one of the lowest points I’ve seen us at,” Lewis said after a disappointing cycle for Miami-Dade Democratic candidates. Last month, Democrats lost two congressional contests, a state Senate seat and multiple state House seats in Miami-Dade County, drawing a lot of focus to the party’s performance in the area.
“We need better leadership,” Lewis argued.
Lewis fell short, however. Simeonids won by more than 60 votes out of just over 100 cast.
“Thank you so much everybody for your confidence,” Simeonidis told party members following the vote. “I’m looking forward to continuing to lead this body.”
While Miami-Dade County garnered plenty of attention, Democrats performed poorly across the state, and underachieved broadly in federal races for House and Senate.
That makes it difficult to say whether different leadership could’ve directed Miami-Dade Democrats to greater success, or whether the regional party was brought down by the same forces seen elsewhere in the state and nation.
Among the list of lawmakers backing Simeonidis were Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried; Sens. Shevrin Jones, Jason Pizzo and Annette Taddeo; and newly elected Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. Simeonidis thanked those lawmakers, and several others, for their support ahead of Monday’s vote.
While the county mayoral race was technically nonpartisan, Levine Cava courted widespread Democratic support and prevailed in the contest against right-leaning Esteban “Steve” Bovo. That marked a bright spot for Democrats on Election Night.