James Clyburn, Maxwell Alejandro Frost say Democrats can’t write Florida off
Democratic Majority Whip James Clyburn stumps with Maxwell Alejandro Frost. Photo by Jacob Ogles.

Clyburn crop
'A lot of big donors are saying they’re giving up on Florida.'

There’s too much at stake this year for Democrats to give up on Florida, much less the entire South. That’s the message U.S. Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina gave as he campaigned alongside Orlando Democrat Maxwell Alejandro Frost in Central Florida.

Clyburn reminded that it was the South who gave the Democratic nomination in 2020 to Joe Biden, who went on to unseat Republican President Donald Trump in a closer-than-expected election. Biden famously began to turn the Democratic Primary in his favor only after winning South Carolina, largely on the strength of Clyburn’s endorsement.

“I tell people all the time, we did our part in the Primary,” Clyburn told Florida Politics. “We may not be relevant in the General, where would you be if we had not done our part?”

Clyburn stumped with Frost, a front-runner to keep Florida’s 10th Congressional District in Democratic hands. Frost shocked some establishment figures winning a Democratic Primary for the open seat in August. Now in position to be the first Generation Z member of Congress, the Democrat doesn’t want Florida to be treated as less than a battleground.

“During my call time for the past year and a half, a lot of big donors are saying they’re giving up on Florida and not wanting to donate anymore,” Frost said. “I see it from the organizational side, I see it from the people-on-TV side and I see it from the money coming in.”

Clyburn attended a fundraiser with Frost on Sunday evening. Sources say the event raised about five figures. That won’t just help Frost, who is running in a district Biden won by almost 32 percentage points. Frost has donated $100,000 himself to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

At a press event at the Washington Park Library, an early voting site in west Orlando, Clyburn, Frost and other local leaders encouraged voters to cast ballots early.

They were flanked by a number of candidates including state Rep.-elect Rita Harris, who just won an open Democratic Primary in House District 44, Allie Braswell, the Democratic nominee in House District 45, and LaVon Bracy Davis, the Democratic nominee in House District 40. Orlando City Commissioner Bakari Burns attended, as well as a number of local civil rights leaders.

Clyburn shot a promotional video on the spot with Davis, and publicly announced his endorsement of Braswell immediately after the event. He held a brunch with local Democratic leaders after the press event shortly after the press conference.

“While my opponent is being endorsed by, and she herself supports, radical extremists like Donald Trump Jr., Anthony Sabatini and Matt Gaetz — people who collectively are under FBI criminal investigation and have done harm to our democracy and freedoms in Florida — I am proud to be supported by people who want to defend and protect our democracy,” Braswell said, slamming Republican opponent Carolina Amesty in the process.

“I have fought as a Marine to protect our country against extremism abroad and I’m ready to fight to protect Floridians against extremism in Tallahassee.”

Clyburn notably campaigned in a safe Democratic district instead of some neighboring battlegrounds, but noted many of the lower office candidates in attendance were indeed fighting in competitive seats.

And he noted there are races big and small where stakes are high.

“It is not a safe seat for Val Demings,” he said, referencing the Democratic nominee for Senate. Similarly, he said Charlie Crist faces a challenging road in the race for Florida Governor.

“We want people to turn up and vote from the top of the ballot, all the way down.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Tom Legend

    October 31, 2022 at 3:25 pm

    Vote for Val Demings!!!

  • Dont Look Up

    October 31, 2022 at 4:52 pm

    Florida is tough to poll. Many full time and winter residents have out of state cell phone numbers ….. but vote here in Florida. Additionally, pollsters often do not survey “registered voters!”

    The final poll is on Election Day. Mail in those ballots and VOTE.

  • Sue

    November 2, 2022 at 1:23 am

    Agreed, that’s why Republicans and Republican-leaning independents should never rely on poll samples. Most Republicans vote as if their candidate of choice were losing and their ballot could change the final outcome. Don’t hope for a better outcome. Be the red wave.

Comments are closed.


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