Nikki Fried hires Phillip Jerez as Florida Democrats’ Executive Director
Image via Phillip Jerez, LinkedIn

Phillip Jerez
Jerez served as Charlie Crist's political director in the 2022 election cycle.

Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried announced Phillip Jerez as the state party’s Executive Director Thursday. She also announced six other hires within the party.

“Phillip Jerez is one of the hardest working people in politics,” Fried said. “He’ll bring an unstoppable spirit to the position, and I trust that we can work together to win elections for years to come.”

Jerez serves now as Deputy Director of Engagement for U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who, like Jerez, calls Miami home.

“Florida is worth fighting for,” Jerez said. “It’s an honor to join the Florida Democratic Party at this critical juncture. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build the infrastructure required to elect Democrats from Pensacola to Key West — because Floridians deserve nothing less.”

Notably, Jerez previously served as Political Director for former U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist’s 2022 gubernatorial campaign, when Crist faced Fried in a Democratic Primary. Crist ultimately won the nomination but lost to Republican incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis. Jerez also worked on Democrat Andrew Gillum’s campaign as Deputy Political Director when the former Tallahassee Mayor nearly beat DeSantis for Governor in 2018.

Additionally, Fried announced Rachel Berger, who has served as FDP’s Transition Director, will now be the Chair’s Chief of Staff. Berger previously worked as Director of Party Affairs at FDP. She also was part of Fried’s gubernatorial campaign, and led Fried’s campaign to lead the party. Democrats elected Fried as state Chair in February. She stressed the need to unite the party after divisive races both against Crist in the Governor’s race and Annette Taddeo in the FDP Chair contest.

Abigayil Yisrael, formerly the Deputy Transition Director, will now serve as Deputy Executive Director and oversee coalition outreach. She previously served on U.S. Senate candidate Val Demings’ campaign.

Eden Giagnorio, previously the media director for the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade, joined FDP as Communications Director. Matt Dailey, previously the campaign manager for Leon County Commissioner Christian Caban, will serve as Deputy Communications Director.

Sophie Granville, previously Director of Development at CECO in Winter Park, will come on as the state party’s Finance Director.

Sam Fullam, who previously worked on Georgia U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff’s campaign, joined the Party as Voter File Manager. She previously worked on Eugene DePasquale’s campaign for Pennsylvania Auditor General.

Jerez, a New York City native, also worked as a Senior Advisor for New York City Council member Shaun Abreau’s campaign, and he served as the Coalition for Black and Brown Ballot Access’ campaign manager in 2020. He also served as President and Chief Strategist for Progress for Florida from 2018 to 2020.

He also boasts Washington connections, having worked as an aide to U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Weston Democrat.

Jerez will succeed Marcus Dixon, the Executive Director under former FDP Chair Manny Diaz. After Florida Democrats underperformed in the Midterm elections, Diaz resigned his position and the party announced a national search for a new Executive Director, Finance Director and Communications Director.

The party right now is going through a state of transition and a questioning of relevance. DeSantis won re-election by 19 percentage points, with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio winning by a similar margin. Republicans also now hold a lead in the number of registered voters in Florida for the first time in history.

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].


  • Earl Pitts American

    June 1, 2023 at 10:33 am

    Good morning America,
    If Nikki picked him he obivously will be working overtime to promote recreational weed not only becoming the law of the land but to all be supplied by marajuhna business’ which are either controlled by Nikki or her boyfriend.
    Join us and be supportave of Phillip Jerez. Look at the boxes Phillip checks: 1 Black 2 Hispanic last name 3 best of all our &@ydar observation of the photo is pinging on Phillip being a member of the constantly expanding alphabit communitty.
    Thanks Nikki,
    Earl Pitts “”Earl has G@ydar” American

  • Ben King, Esq.

    June 1, 2023 at 12:15 pm

    Wow, another loser from the Charlie Crist campaign. Do the Democrats even care about winning? Guess not.

    Good to know that Nikki doesn’t care about all the disgusting hit jobs this dude ran against her.

    Looks like the people of Florida got conned by another New Yorker.

    Dude lasted 4 months at his last job. Let’s see how long he lasts here.

    Bad choice. Poor decisions. Break down the whole FDP and build a new one.

  • Lem Troi (Patriot)

    June 1, 2023 at 1:04 pm


    Good to know the Dems are just as out of touch as they are stupid!!!!! Lolololol

    -Worked for Sugreon General (FAUCI!!!)
    -Worked for Charlie Crist (Loser Republican, who came out as an even bigger LOSER Democrat!!)
    -Helped Charlie Crist beat Nikki Fried by letting the world know about her SEX TAPE!!! Lololol
    -Worked for Debbie Wasserman Shultz (Florida’s loser version of Nancy Pelosi)
    -Worked for Andrew “Smoke Meth and Screw Gigolos” Gillum
    -From New York, New York and here to spread his FAUCI-ist B-S!!!!

    Lololololololol It’s like they try to lose on purpose.

    No thank you FDP! Glad you picked a loser like this! Looks like Rick Scott and President Trump are gonna win big in the Sunshine State next year!!!

  • It’s Complicated

    June 2, 2023 at 8:54 am

    Always great to see a person with a spectacular record of losing promoted within the ranks of the Democratic Party.

  • Mike Florida

    June 2, 2023 at 10:47 am

    Does anybody else question the wisdom of bringing in a non-Floridian, a New Yorker, to be the Executive Director of the FDP? For a party that has much of its relationship with the state’s population, would it not make sense to bring in staff with deep knowledge of Florida?

  • tom palmer

    June 2, 2023 at 12:07 pm

    I’m willing to withhold judgement until I see whether the new leadership is able to recruit better candidates and focus on issues that regular people care about. If they fail in those two areas, they may as well close the doors.

Comments are closed.


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