Former state Sen. Rod Smith won the endorsements of two Miami-Dade party officials Wednesday in his bid to become the next leader of the Florida Democratic Party. Bret Berlin and Verna Lewis-Edington, both state committee members, said in a letter to the party's state executive committee that after interviewing Smith and Andrew Gillum, they're endorsing Smith.
He "has demonstrated to us the vision, experience, and capacity to lead the Florida Democratic Party through redistricting and into the 2012 presidential and senatorial campaigns,'' the pair said in a letter.
Here's the letter:
Florida Democratic Party:
I hope the holiday season is treating you well and you are surrounded by friends and family. Like you, we here in Miami-Dade remain focused on rebuilding our Party as we approach a critically important cycle for Florida Democrats.
We take the duty of supporting a new leader for our Party seriously. We have spent hours speaking with each candidate, our local party leadership and elected officials. We have also spent time deliberating amongst ourselves to ensure that we speak with a clear singular voice to represent our County and our State. The choice for us is clear. One leader has demonstrated to us the vision, experience, and capacity to lead the Florida Democratic Party through redistricting and into the 2012 presidential and senatorial campaigns.
We are happy to support Rod Smith to lead the Florida Democratic Party and we look forward to casting our votes for him.
Further, we call upon Vice Chair Bullard to set a date to fill the vacancy so we can put our new Chair to work.