Sen. Dwight Bullard won’t run for chair again of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party but still plans to run for Florida Democratic Party chair.
Bullard will run for county party vice chair against activist Rubin Young.
On Tuesday, about 200 members of the county party who represent their precincts will gather to elect a chair, vice chair and other leaders. (Here is the full roster of who is running.)
The outcome has ramifications for the state’s party leadership. The county party will also elect a state committeeman and committee woman and those two individuals will get to vote on the Florida Democratic Party chair in January. Across the state, the committeemen and women vote according to a formula based on the number of registered Democrats in the county which means that Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach carry considerable weight.
Here’s a look at the candidates running for positions in Miami-Dade:
- Bret Berlin: A business consultant, Berlin has served as the chair for 12 years and is former Miami-Dade chairman and supported Hillary Clinton during the primary. He says he hasn’t seen the DEC membership this low. “It's disappointing so few people are engaged -- it means we have to do much better job as a party to regain trust miami dade electorate and rebuild this party.”
(Any voting member can nominate himself or herself from the floor so it is possible he will face a competitor.)
- Francesca Menes: She lost a race for state house in 2016 and is running for a state house race in 2018.
- Annette Taddeo Goldstein: She has lost multiple races, most recently for Congress to former U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia. Taddeo Goldstein has been mentioned as a potential state party chair candidate but didn’t respond to the Herald this week about whether she will definitely run. She is currently vice chair of the Florida Democratic Party and a past chair of the Miami-Dade party.
- Elizabeth Judd: A retired AFSCME union business agent, Judd is a longtime DEC member.
- Bess McElroy: A retired city of Miami personnel administrator, she unsuccessfully ran for state house twice. In the past she has served as vice chair and was the interim chair a few times.
The other two candidates are Mae Christian, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Elizabeth Washington-Wells who are also running for chair.
The other candidates for chair are:
- Dr. Leonarda Duran: She is president of the Miami-Dade Democratic Hispanic Caucus and works as a therapist/life coach.
- Tony Diaz: He runs an ad agency and is running for Miami City Commission in 2017.
- Millie Herrera: She is a former appointee of President Barack Obama to the U.S. Department of Labor and a former chair of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida. She owns a public relations firm.
- Rafael Velasquez: He lost a race for state house in 2002. Velasquez, a real estate broker, said he was on the national finance committee for Clinton.
- Juan Cuba: He resigned as director of the Miami-Dade Democrats after the Nov. 8th election.
- Fred Frost: Former president of the South Florida AFL-CIO and works for CWA International Union.
- Ernesto Fernandez
This post has been updated to reflect additional candidates who signed up to run or switched races.