Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chair Steve Simeonidis says he’s resigning from that role at the end of July, citing increased demands of the position.
“While rewarding, being party chair is demanding, both personally and professionally,” Simeonidis wrote in his resignation letter, obtained by Florida Politics. “And it should be — it’s a tough job. But that’s just it. It should be a job — not a volunteer position.”
The move comes just over seven months after Simeonidis was reelected party chair in early December. That term was expected to last for four years. But in the letter obtained Monday evening, Simeonidis said he made his decision to step down official.
“I’ve provided notice to the state party and the Supervisor of Elections that I will be stepping down as Chairman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party at the end of the month.” Simeonidis wrote.
“It’s been an honor to lead such a diverse and dedicated group of individuals — stepping down is not an easy thing to do — but I know it is time to pass the torch.”
Simeonidis works as a full-time attorney in addition to his role with the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, forcing him to juggle dual responsibilities. Simeonidis repeatedly hit that note in his resignation letter, arguing the organization should provide for a more official, full-time chair.
“The largest local party in the biggest swing state in the nation should not be led over lunch, after work and on weekends,” Simeonidis argued. “It deserves a full time, elected leader.”
As a result of Simeonidis’ decision, First Vice Chair Maria-Elena Lopez will lead the party into August until members vote on a new permanent chair during an Aug. 17 meeting.
Simeonidis served as general counsel for the Miami-Dade Democratic Party before he was elected as chair in Feb. 2019. Democrats did struggle in Miami-Dade last cycle, but Simeonidis earned a full term following that election, earning 85% support during a virtual vote. Democrats performed poorly across the state, making it hard to determine whether Democrats’ Miami-Dade struggles were particular to that county or part of a broader trend last cycle.
Simeonidis earned significant support from elected officials prior to securing reelection in Dec. 2020. He was endorsed by Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried; Sens. Shevrin Jones, Jason Pizzo and Annette Taddeo; and newly elected Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, among others.
While he’s leaving his post as chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, Simeonidis still serves as co-chair of the rules committee for the Florida Democratic Party. He’s also an elected Democratic National Committee member from Florida and sits on the Miami-Dade Commission on Human Rights. Simeonidis also says he’ll remain active in the local party, possibly in an advisory role.
“While I’m taking a step back, I remain fully committed to the Miami-Dade Democratic Party and the movement they help lead and will still be involved in the local party,” Simeonidis added.
“It’s been the honor of a lifetime to fight for working class people and help elected Democrats in Miami-Dade.”