Frederica Wilson backs Manny Diaz for FDP chair

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Former Miami Mayor's campaign for FDP Chair continues to roll out backers.

South Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson announced her endorsement Wednesday for former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz to be the next chair of the Florida Democratic Party.

Wilson, of Miami Gardens, is the first of Florida’s current members of Congress to weigh in on the party’s election.

In addition to Diaz, a lawyer who was Mayor of Miami from 2001-’09, candidates include former lawmaker Cynthia Moore Chestnut of Alachua County, Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida President Janelle Christensen, and former Democratic National Committee member Nikki Barnes. Still more are said to be testing the waters.

“Manny Diaz has dedicated his career to building coalitions to elect leaders and enacting policies that have transformed South Florida. As Mayor of Miami, Manny transformed Florida’s most diverse city by developing initiatives and investing in programs that helped improve our schools and grow our economy. Most important, he was committed to shared prosperity, making important investments in communities across the city,” Wilson said in a news release issued Wednesday by Diaz’s campaign.

FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo, who was elected to that post in 2017, informed party officials last week that she would not seek another term. Diaz was the first major candidate to announce, doing so before Rizzo stepped down.

The next FDP chair will take over a party that is struggling with finances and elections failures. Democrats just suffered across-the-board election disappointments in the Nov. 3 General Election.

In the past few days Diaz’s campaign has announced the endorsements of a number of Florida mayors and former mayors, state lawmakers, and  local officials, and two former members of Congress who preceded Wilson in her district, former Reps. Carrie Meek and Kendrick Meek.

“It’s an honor to have the endorsement of Congresswoman Wilson, a leader who has dedicated her life to fighting for Floridians,” Diaz said. “I’ve seen firsthand what the Congresswoman has been able to get done for her constituents and it’s a reminder of just how important it is to elect Democrats who will be fierce advocates for our communities. I am so grateful for the Congresswoman’s support and look forward to the work we’ll do together to build a strong Florida Democratic Party.’

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]



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