Florida Democrats make key hires, launch search for Executive Director

Florida Democrat Donkey Flag
Devon Cruz, Amber Gantt and Abigayil Yisrael take on positions; Marcus Dixon shifts to senior advisor role.

The Florida Democratic Party (FDP) is announcing key hires and personnel changes. But new Chair Nikki Fried is making clear the party needs new staff leadership, with the party launching a national effort to find a new Executive Director along with other positions.

Marcus Dixon, the Executive Director under former FDP Chair Manny Diaz, will stay on with the party but as a senior advisor during a leadership transition. The FDP has announced a national search for a new Executive Director, Finance Director and Communications Director.

Dixon previously worked as national vice president of the Association of Democratic Executive Directors. He also worked as Executive Director of SEIU Florida and as policy director for U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Hollywood Democrat.

Meanwhile, the party announced a number of communications hires.

While key positions remain open, the party has made hires for chief roles in communications.

Devon Cruz, the deputy communications director for former U.S. Rep. Val Demings’ U.S. Senate campaign last year, was hired by the party as its rapid response director.

Amber Gantt, previously the deputy press secretary for former North Carolina Senate candidate Cheri Beasley, will serve as the FDP’s deputy communications director. She will hold that role through any transition.

Abigayil Yisrael joined the party as deputy transition director. She also worked on Demings’ Senate campaign as surrogate director of operations.

Yisrael notably also worked on Fried’s campaign last year for Governor. Fried lost the Democratic Primary in August to Charlie Crist. Yisrael worked as director of outreach and engagement. Before that, Yisrael served as deputy get-out-the-vote director for the Democratic Party of Georgia.

This marks a return to the Florida Democratic Party for Yisrael, who previously served as community engagement director for the state party.

As far as a search for other major positions, the party has job listings posted for the Finance and Communications Director positions.

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]


  • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

    March 31, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    The new ED is going to do to the FDP what she did to the DeptAg., chaos and a lot of show but no go.

  • Leigh

    April 1, 2023 at 12:36 am

    Well, whoever NIkki picks I hope it isn’t someone who has done something to help campaigns win. Anyone tied to Demings or Crist campaigns should be embarrassed as there was NO CAMPAIGN. Nikki- pick people with proven track records. If election losses follow people around where ever they go, that is something you should be considering.

  • It’s Complicated

    April 1, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    Glad they are doing a national search. When they hire a successful person from one of the deep Blue states it will REALLY drive home how bat guano crazy the party has become. Having the ability to raise big $ to communicate the party message and show their true colors will further accelerate the party’s decline in Florida.

  • Tropical

    April 3, 2023 at 8:46 am

    I don’t think it will make any difference, but you have to do something.
    No matter what, we’ll be stuck with the damage desantis and his mugs are shoving into place for several years.
    Hopefully, desantis will, little by little, be turning off the majority of Florida voters, but obviously, we have to get much stronger candidates to reverse any of these terrible new laws.

Comments are closed.


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