Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz picked up another congressional endorsement Thursday with the announcement that Rep. Alcee Hastings supports his bid to become the next chair of the Florida Democratic Party.
Hastings, of Palm Beach Gardens, joins Democratic Reps. Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg, Lois Frankel of Boca Raton, Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, Frederica Wilson of Miami Gardens, and Donna Shalala of Miami in backing Diaz.
The Florida Democratic Party has set the statewide election for Jan. 9. Current FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo is stepping down.
Also contending for the open chair are Orange County Democratic Chair Wes Hodge, Hillsborough County Democratic Chair Ione Townsend, Alachua County Democratic Chair Cynthia Moore Chestnut, Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida Chair Janelle Christensen, and Nikki Barnes, a former member of the Democratic National Committee representing Florida.
While Diaz has been racking up endorsements by the dozens among current and former elected officials and a handful of state and local party officials, the candidates have been competing in a series of virtual candidates panels around the state. They’ve also been making numerous phone calls to the FDP voters whose votes count in the statewide party elections, especially the state committee members, particularly those from larger counties.
In his endorsement, Hastings called Diaz “the right leader for the moment.”
“There is so much at stake with the redistricting battles ahead and an opportunity to pick up seats across our state as we look to the midterm elections, we need a Chair who can immediately get to work in developing a short-and long-term turnaround plan that is focused on building needed party infrastructure and raising funds to sustain it. It is my hope that Broward and Palm Beach Democrats and all Democrats across Florida will support Mayor Manny Diaz,” Hastings stated in a news release issued by Diaz’s campaign.