Florida Democrats launch ‘coordinated campaign’ effort, voter registration push

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Politics arms for Florida Senate and House Democrats will work with Ruth's List and other groups.

The Florida Democratic Party (FDP) is launching a new effort aimed to register voters, elect candidates up and down the ballot, and make the Sunshine State competitive this November.

Lisa Peth, a veteran political strategist, will serve as Campaign Director for the Take Back Florida Coordinated Campaign. The effort will marshal resources from several party organizations and progressive groups, including the Florida House Democratic Campaign Committee (FHDCC), Florida Senate Victory and Ruth’s List Florida.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s re-election campaign will also be part of the effort.

“There is nothing more important than our long-term plan to take back Florida,” said FDP Chair Nikki Fried. “The coordinated campaign is one of the most important tools we have to set our campaigns up for success — that’s why I’m excited to bring Lisa Peth back to the Party. Her experience and expertise in strategic campaigns will be an invaluable asset to Democratic efforts across the state of Florida, from re-electing President (Joe) Biden and Vice President (Kamala) Harris and defeating (U.S. Sen.) Rick Scott to breaking the supermajority in the Legislature.”

Peth served as Northeast Florida Regional Field Director for FDP in 2018, when Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum won Duval County even while losing statewide. She also served as the party’s first Municipal Victory Director, a post she held from 2019 to 2021.

She more recently served as Executive Director for the Florida Pipeline Project, which is dedicated to developing a stronger bench in Florida through campaigns for smaller offices.

“I’m thrilled to come home to the Florida Democratic Party,” Peth said. “As a lifelong Floridian, I’ve felt firsthand the effects of 30 years of Republican leadership in Tallahassee — but the incredible work being done by Democrats across Florida in the face of those challenges has always given me hope. I’m looking forward to doing everything I can to support those efforts and lay the groundwork to take back Florida.”

Democratic leaders say the campaign will help reverse a yearslong trend of Republicans significantly outpacing Democrats in voter registrations. Republicans in 2021 overtook Democrats in number of voters for the first time. The GOP has grown its advantage since, and as of the end of March boasted more than an 892,000-voter advantage.

The move comes as Democrats hope to put the state in play after the Florida Supreme Court both OK’d a six-week abortion ban to take effect and approved a ballot referendum that would allow voters to protect abortion rights in the state’s constitution.

Coordinating resources should help Democrats regain competitive footing for races up and down the ballot, leaders said.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Weston Democrat and former Democratic National Committee Chair, said the effort would also help flip U.S. House seats and help Democrats regain a majority. Only eight of Florida’s 28 congressional seats today are held by Democrats. It could also ensure Florida remains a battleground in the Presidential Election, she said.

“Florida Democrats are ready to win back Florida and take back the U.S. House of Representatives,” Wasserman Schultz said.

“Now more than ever, it is critical to elect leaders who will fight to protect Floridians in Washington, D.C. We have the opportunity this November to defeat anti-choice MAGA Republicans like (incumbent U.S. Reps.) Anna Paulina Luna, Maria Salazar and Carlos Giménez on our way to making Leader Hakeem Jeffries the next Speaker of the House. Florida is winnable, and I look forward to working closely with all of our partners to help deliver the Sunshine State for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in November.”

It could also build momentum on high-profile wins for Democrats in a Jacksonville Mayor race and in flipping a Central Florida state House seat.

“This is a shot of adrenaline for Florida Democrats, a party already energized by State Representative Tom Keen’s recent win in House District 35,” said Florida House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell, who chairs the FHDCC.

“Together, we flipped a state house seat from red to blue for the first time since 2018, thanks in large part to the investment and support from individuals and organizations across the state who coalesced around the shared goal of electing Democrats. The coordinated campaign will amplify this recipe for success up and down the ballot, driving progress in Florida and ensuring each Floridian has the freedom to be healthy, prosperous and safe.”

Levine Cava said that’s especially critical in areas like Miami-Dade. The Democrat won her mayoral seat in 2020, but two years later, a majority of Miami-Dade voters supported successful re-election efforts for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

“Democrats in Miami-Dade are organized and ready to win up and down the ballot because when Democrats unite, we win,” Levine Cava said.

“Here in Miami-Dade, we’re proof of how much can be done when we work together and elect leaders who share our values. Three and a half years ago, we dreamed the impossible and worked together to make history, and I got right to work delivering results for residents and families — lowering costs, keeping our community safe, and creating new opportunities for everyone to thrive. Now more than ever, we must continue this work and keep up the fight, which is why I’m excited to work closely with Chair Nikki Fried as we collaborate and organize together in Miami-Dade.”

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].


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