Last week, we noted chatter that Miami-Dade's new Democratic Party chairwoman, Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, might drop out of the race for Florida Democratic Party chair.
Today, she made it official. And she endorsed Allison Tant for the post. That leaves Hillsborough's Alan Clendenin in a tough spot.
The entire affair was needlessly complicated and, according to Democrats and insiders, underscores the poor way that Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and, to a lesser degree, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Broward Congresswoman, handled the situation.
Both Democratic leaders wanted Tant for the post. But rather than proactively reach out, soothe the nerves and get the support of Taddeo and Clendenin, they started backing Tant out of nowhere, Democrats tell us. Clendenin learned of Tant's candidacy on The Buzz blog. We're not sure about Taddeo, who so far hasn't returned calls, texts or emails.
Her supporters got rightly riled up by the snub and caused a kerfuffle in New Times.
Finally, this weekend, Nelson called Taddeo and made a deal, sources say. We understand she'll get more autonomy and the ability to have at least one big fundraiser to build the party in Miami-Dade -- a county that helped President Obama win Florida.
Why any of this wasn't done sooner is anyone's guess. But, as his been said before, it's evidence that this isn't an organized political party. It's the Democratic Party.
There might be other versions of who said and did what, and who called whom and made which commitments and when. But Nelson and Wasserman Schultz aren't talking. And so far, our sources have been spot on.
Here's the press release:
Tallahassee, FL - Today, Annette Taddeo and Allison Tant have released a joint statement concerning the race for Florida Democratic Party chair.
Statement from Annette Taddeo:
“In discussions with Allison Tant it is clear that she would make a phenomenal Florida Democratic Party chair and unite our party because of her passion for Democratic values that we all share.
I am overwhelmed by the support I have received from around the state, but at this point in time I need to focus on Miami-Dade County. I have total faith and confidence in Allison as chair of the Florida Democratic Party and fully endorse her in this effort.
We share a common goal, which is bigger than any one individual, to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. Together, we will build on the victories of 2012 and keep the party moving forward.”
Statement from Allison Tant:
“Annette Taddeo is the type of leader that we need right now at the highest levels of the Florida Democratic Party. She and I will work as partners to continue the fight throughout the state. Annette’s experience with the Obama campaign will be vital to continuing our growth in Hispanic and minority communities. I look forward to working with Annette as part of our leadership team to move the state forward and keep the momentum going.”