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Manny Diaz is taking an ax to overstaffing at the FDP. Image via AP.

2020/2022

Democratic Black Caucus of Florida endorses Manny Diaz for Fla. Dems. chair

Diaz faces Ione Townsend, Cynthia Chestnut.

Manny Diaz‘s campaign to be the next chair of the Florida Democratic Party has sent a message to Cynthia Moore Chestnut: “We’ll see your Nikki Barnes and Wes Hodge endorsements with one from the Democratic Black Caucus.”

The caucus is officially backing Diaz, the former Miami Mayor, over Chestnut or Ione Townsend in Saturday’s election, Diaz’s campaign announced Friday afternoon.

Chestnut, the Alachua County Democratic chair, received the endorsements of both Barnes and Hodge. Since late Thursday, both of them dropped out of the chair election and backed Chestnut, saying the party needs her, a Black leader, to reengage what has been the party’s most loyal base.

Townsend, the Hillsborough County Democratic chair, meanwhile, rolled out an endorsement from the Not me, Us. Florida group, a coalition of progressive activists who coalesced around past presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, a national leader of the progressive Democratic wing.

Diaz had temporarily suspended active campaigning Wednesday evening after an insurrection at the U.S. Capital by rioters egged on by President Donald Trump.

On Friday afternoon, he replied to recent developments from his final two opponents.

The election is Saturday, at a virtual meeting of the Florida Democratic Party set to start at noon.

“It’s an honor to have the support of the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida, a caucus that has been committed to ensuring we’re growing and investing in programs to increase political power for Black Democrats in Florida,” Diaz stated in a news release. “I am committed to building a Florida Democratic Party that is diverse and inclusive and will ensure we, as a party, are investing in the programs that organize and mobilize Black voters across this state.

“This starts by making sure the FDP staff and leadership team acknowledge the value, contribution and loyalty of Black communities to the Democratic party,” he continued. “I am humbled by this support and look forward to the work ahead with the Democratic Black Caucus and the many leaders across the state to win elections, elect Black leaders and mobilize communities across the state.”

Written By

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 scott@floridapolitics.com.

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