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Dwight Bullard wants Miami-Dade Democrats to delay election



Former state Sen. Dwight Bullard wants the Miami-Dade Democratic Party to delay the election for state committeeman because of a grievance filed about the organization's election Dec. 6.

The grievance was filed by two Democratic activists who want the Florida Democratic Party to invalidate the earlier election and order a new one.

On Tuesday, Bullard will face off with Stephen Bittel, a Coconut Grove developer and major donor. The winner is expected to run for state party chair Jan. 14.

Although the race for the state committeeman in Miami-Dade is an internal party matter decided by hundreds of members of the Democratic Executive Committee, Bullard and Bittel are seeking backers to show they have broader support.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' organization, Our Revolution, endorsed Bullard Tuesday night -- the group also backed his unsuccessful state senate race earlier this year. On Wednesday, Bittel announced he had the backing of three newly-elected state representatives: Nick Duran, Daisy Baez and Robert Ascenio.

Bullard said he isn't excited about the idea of dragging out the election process, however "I want to make sure people are comfortable walking into any election scenario. It's probably in the best interest of Miami-Dade DEC to make sure all grievances are addressed. I am trying to be cautious from a protocol standpoint."

Max Steele, a spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party, said the grievance is working it's way through the review process and that the party is trying to conclude it as quickly as possible.

"I will hopefully have an update by the end of the week," he said.  

The grievance was filed by Eufaula Frazier, a longtime Democratic activist, and Dr. Mae Christian, who lost the race for state committeewoman to Francesca Menes.

The grievance alleges that several improper procedures were used at the meeting including that the chair deemed the new members eligible while simultaneously continuing credential registration, standards for notarization were not met and that some loyalty oaths were submitted after the meeting was called to order.

Juan Cuba, who was elected as chair at the Dec. 6 election, said that there were three election attorneys as well as two observers from the Broward Democratic Party at the Miami-Dade election.

"No complaints were raised at the meeting," Cuba said. "Every election you get complaints filed by the losing end."

Cuba said that the election will go forward on Tuesday.

"We need to focus on the important work of organizing, registering voters, recruiting candidates, and advocating for our issues," he said.