Florida Democratic Party ramp up 2022 investment, hire seven regional field directors

Manny A. Diaz FDP
Chair Manny Diaz says the party wants to get a head start preparing for high-profile 2022 contests.

The Florida Democratic Party (FDP) is hiring seven field directors across the state as the party looks to increase its grassroots organizing investment this cycle.

A document obtained by Florida Politics lays out the new hires, which the FDP says “show a commitment to building the sustainable grassroots organizing systems needed to win in Florida.”

Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz also added a statement, arguing the hires will help Democrats get a head start on high-profile 2022 contests.

“By investing early in statewide, grassroots organizing, we will meet Florida voters where they are now, not just 3 months before each election,” Diaz said. “To flip Florida blue we are building a longterm, sustainable infrastructure, and deploying field staff all across Florida earlier than ever. Our field team is the heart of the foundation necessary to defeat Marco Rubio, Ron DeSantis, and Republicans up and down the ballot.”

Organizer Desmond Batts will lead organizing in the state’s central west region. Betts helped organize the first People’s Climate March in New York City and advocated for successful minimum wage increases in Connecticut and New York. He has also done field work in Florida in the Tampa metro area.

Ric Gable, a veteran of Rep. Al Lawson’s campaign team, will take over the central Panhandle region for the FDP. He has served as Jackson County DEC vice chair and state committeeman and as FDP’s small county coalition vice chair.

Pensacola native Keith Hardy will head the party’s efforts in the western Panhandle. Hardy was the regional organizing director in the Panhandle for the 2018 gubernatorial and Senate races, both of which Democrats narrowly lost. Hardy has served as the FDP’s community engagement director for the Panhandle, as well as the deputy statewide engagement director.

Activist Ebony Hardy-Allen will serve as field director in the northeast region. Hardy-Allen recently did work with Color of Change and was also chief administrative officer and program director for the First Coast Leadership Foundation and My Vote Project. In 2018, Hardy-Allen served as Duval County regional field director pushing for support for Amendment 4.

Rick Ibarria, who has decades of experience as a corporate manager, will lead efforts in the southeast. He has experience working with American Express and Mastercard international managing teams in Latin America and the Caribbean. He has also supported several local arms of the Democratic Party in Miami-Dade County.

Jamie Jarvis is a relative newcomer, having graduated from Kansas State University in 2019. He helped organize in Nevada for Pete Buttigieg‘s 2020 presidential bid and chaired a county chapter of the Democratic Party in Kansas. He’ll take over the central north region for FDP.

Finally, Drake Thomsen will focus on the center of the state near Orlando. He worked on an Orange County Commission race in 2018 before training with the Democratic National Committee Organizing Corps and working for FDP in Seminole County.

Democrats saw several near misses in 2018 before seemingly losing ground in 2020. Republicans’ performance in Miami-Dade County was particularly concerning, helping President Donald Trump win the state by 3 percentage points and allowing the GOP to expand its hold on the Senate.

With Manny Diaz now leading the party, the FDP is hoping this cycle’s investments will pay off, with big time races for the U.S. Senate and Governor on the ballot in 2022. The FDP release says the organization “will be expanding the team further and hiring organizers throughout the summer.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


21 comments

  • Ron Ogden

    June 24, 2021 at 5:15 am

    Let’s see, five months ago the party was broke, borrowing from other states and stiffing their loyal staff members out of their medical benefits. Today it is hiring more staff members, who most likely will eventually be stiffed. . . . That’s EQUITY, Democrat style.

    • Tjb

      June 24, 2021 at 10:22 am

      Remember how Donald Trump would “stiff” his employees and vendors.

  • Cinforoso

    June 24, 2021 at 5:29 am

    Democrats offer nothing but economic misery, higher unemployment, higher taxes, more waste of tax dollars, and socialism. They will ruin our country.

    • NOJO NMP

      June 24, 2021 at 8:39 am

      Agreed. We need to volunteer with our state RNC and contribute, even if it is only $5.

    • Connie

      June 25, 2021 at 10:40 am

      I’m that was Bush and Trump! Stop lying

  • Tom Palmer

    June 24, 2021 at 6:52 am

    You people have short memories. It was the GOP that turned Wall Street into Las Vegas and triggered the largest recession since the 1929 crash, pushed us into Iraq etc. etc.

  • Tom

    June 24, 2021 at 7:13 am

    Incompetent Dem manchurians unite.
    What a joke. Read the latest poll.
    Spells Disaster.

  • Ocean Joe

    June 24, 2021 at 7:19 am

    Democrats offer economic misery, but Republicans actually deliver it. Over and over again.
    The Depression, the Bush Recession, the covid recession we are now pulling out of. Trickle down doesn’t work. Stacking the deck for the wealthy doesn’t build America, it builds the wealth gap. Where were you during the Bush Jr. administration? Did you follow the market? Two ugly crashes. Trump, like Hoover, chose to ignore the problem, thinking government had no role to play. Covid ran wild while the federal govt. sat back and watched like a bystander. You hate government unless the red team is in charge dismantling it. OK, I got it. Same old GOP story. Call the Dems socialists while you give big oil a blank check and pretend climate change (and it’s consequences) is a hoax because some old bloated guy who wears make-up and stirred up an attack on democracy said so.

    Seriously, look at what a Democratic congress and Obama did to pull us out of 2008 and into a 7 year run of economic growth, or Bill Clinton and a split congress who gave us a budget surplus. Or FDR, who led us out of the Great Depression, and then name a few great Republican economic success stories.
    Trump? His presidency started on 3rd base and ended in the dug out. Blame China, and keep telling the public that the GOP handles the economy better.

    • Ron Ogden

      June 24, 2021 at 8:38 am

      OJ, if you read your history you will see that the stock market crash happened during a Republican administration, but the subsequent Democratic administration of FDR was guilty of extending it and deepening it into a depression (not a lie, read the history). As far as the 2007 bust, many economic historians will persuasively argue that it occurred because federal housing policy (guaranteed credit for people unable to pay upside down mortgages) just went wild. Real disaster was avoided only by the Fed literally going on a money-printing spree (“quantitative easing”, IIRC) that literally forced worldwide interest rates to actually negative values where, more than a decade later, they remain.

    • NOJO NMP

      June 24, 2021 at 8:43 am

      Some of your comments are just wrong. Please focus on what is happening now and just before the pandemic. not to mention just before the Obama admin. He didn’t pull us anywhere. We stayed stationary. You need to do more reading from both sides of the table. Ask yourself why the Democratic party allowed their cities to burn and maintained their lockdown.
      There is and always will be climate change. At some point in time, the sun will absorb the earth and we cannot stop it. We need to focus on pollution.

      • Connie

        June 25, 2021 at 10:42 am

        Excuse me Obama inherited Bushes failures of our banks! Obama stopped the bleeding and grew jobs and healthcare! Stop lying! It’s embarrassing

  • Tom

    June 24, 2021 at 7:28 am

    Ocean Joe, the seaweed pretty strong.
    Best economy in history in Trump pre pandemic.
    You are so corrupted by liberal Dem orthodoxy.
    Lowest unemployment for all under Trump. More blue collar, lower income Americans working; earning and gaining financially in history. Women, minorities working at record numbers. Rising tide lifted all boats. You really don’t know anything else besides what state media tells you. Yes China virus destroyed American economy. You fool.

  • NOJO NMP

    June 24, 2021 at 8:38 am

    It would be a tragedy if Florida turned Democratic. It is one of the last safe places to live in the US. Our next stop would be to leave the country as it is disintegrating under the Weak House.

    • Tom

      June 24, 2021 at 2:26 pm

      No worries,
      It won’t but vote line your scared.

      • Tom

        June 26, 2021 at 1:11 am

        It won’t
        DeSantis will win with 55%!

      • Tom

        June 26, 2021 at 8:46 am

        It won’t be.
        DeSantis will win with 55%!

    • Connie

      June 25, 2021 at 10:44 am

      Excuse me it is now!! Florida will be nothing but gun thugs , under educated and fat loving porn junkies!

      • Tom

        June 26, 2021 at 1:08 am

        Oh yes and Dem men wear bad porn stache. DeSantis is America’s Governor. You should be on knees thanking almighty for him. He preserved your freedom unlike Dems elected.

  • Connie

    June 25, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster!!! We must fix Florida before it’s to late!! It’s become a shit hole under the GQP! They tried to steal our Democracy Jan 6 we will never forget these terrorist!

    • Tom

      June 26, 2021 at 1:10 am

      Florida will re elect America’s Governor.

    • Tom

      June 26, 2021 at 8:52 am

      America’s Governor, as Gov Ron is known. Unlike awful Dem Govs.
      Go watch your cheap movies.
      Doing a awesome job for Florida.
      People like you benefit and still complain. Governor is up 10pts on crispy critters and 30 pts on fraud fried. Ron rocking it!

Comments are closed.


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