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Jockeying to replace Karen Thurman

There has been no official announcement for her stepping down, but well before the drubbing Democrats in Florida took last week Karen Thurman told a number of prominent Democrats that she expected to step down after this election cycle. So who's the likely replacement? A bunch of names are circulating

Bill Nelson's chief of staff, Pete Mitchell, has been working the phones to drum up support for Miami-Dade Chairman Richard Lydecker. Others in the mix include Palm Beach Democratic chairman Mark Siegel, state House minority leader Franklin Sands, and Hillsborough state committeeman Alan Clendenin.

There's some school of thought that in addition to fundraising ability, the party badly needs someone able to communicate well as the face of Democrats in Florida. Among those who fit that category (but would have to get themselves elected state committeeman or county chair)? Loranne Ausley, Dave Aronberg, Tallahassee commissioner Andrew Gillum, or former Miami-Dade Chairman and congressional candidate Joe Garcia.

Aronberg tells us he's not interested.


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Saint Petersblog

5 reasons why the Florida Democratic Party needs a new Chair — now!


Centrist Dem

Amazingly, your entire list seems to be from South Florida. Lets ignore possibilities from the rest of the state, because a South Florida focus worked so well for the party this last cycle.

What we need is someone who has actually won elections and not just people who sit on the side of them. Democrats keep losing because they lack vision and any concept of what it takes to win campaigns. No one on this list has won a truly competitive campaign. They will simply be more of the same.


Centrist Dem - had we focused on South Florida and actually got the vote out, we would have a Democratic Governor at least. All 3 counties under performed.

We need someone rich who can raise money, who really wants the job and will do it for free.

I think Jeremy Ring could do it. He would run it like a business.


Thanks Adam Smith for a timely story. I agree with previous posters - what this takes is organization across the state, serious fundraising, focus on winning where it counts, and GOTV. I don't care where they come from, just what they get done.

How to change a red state to blue (or at least purple)? Read "The Blueprint" by Adam Schrager and Rob Witwer. It can happen here.

Dade County Dem

Seriously? Why would the the Democratic Party select anyone from this area of the state. If the Democrats ever hope to actually earn new voters they have to go towards Tampa or Orlando.

Selecting a party leader from south Florida is like a minister recruiting for members in his own flock.

I'll Pass

There are good arguments on both sides about how liberal a potential chair should be, but they're much less important than:

1) The person really wants the job.

2) The person has experience winning campaigns.

3) The person has strong fundraising ability.

If I understand the rules, the state chair has to be elected from the group of county chairs. For those three qualifications above, that's a sad bunch.

Fla Dem

Mark Siegel is a joke. I would think Richard Lydecker and Mary Brandenburg would be the best options. Lydecker would be stong at fundraising and Brandenburg would bring agricultural support back to the Democratic Party.


Lydecker's one of the best fundraisers in the state, a very business savvy entrepreneur, has a great eye for talent and would likely do it for free. A chairman doesn't need experience winning campaigns, he just needs to be able to identify and hire the right people who can win them for him.

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