Florida Democratic Party executive director Scott Arceneaux announced Tuesday that he is stepping down.
His departure was expected after the election of a new chair, Stephen Bittel, earlier this month. The party also announced that it hired Juan Penalosa, a consultant who helped Bittel campaign for his post and Reggie Cardozo, former deputy state director for Hillary Clinton, to serve as transition advisers to Bittel. Tessa Bay, who had already been working for the state party, was named as director of the chair's office.
“I have been blessed for over seven and a half years to work with amazing people, surrounded by friends and colleagues who I respect, all for a cause and an organization I deeply believe in,” Arceneaux said in a press release. “I want to thank all the dedicated Democrats, elected officials, candidates, volunteers, staff, and party leaders across our great state who made my time at the FDP truly rewarding.”
Arceneaux will stay on until a replacement is hired. The party plans to do a national search to replace him.
Bittel thanked Arceneaux for his service: “Under his leadership we’ve set fundraising records, professionalized and expanded staff operations, and built the strongest digital and communications program of any state party in the country. He’s been a tremendous asset to the team and we wish him all the best."
Bittel hopes to rebuild the party after devastating losses in November. Sen. Bill Nelson is currently the only statewide Democrat and he could face a tough fight if Gov. Rick Scott decides to challenge him. Democrats also hope to win statewide cabinet seats, including the governor's race but that field is uncertain at this point.
Bittel said of the new hires: “Our goal is to build the strongest statewide grassroots operation in FDP history, and I know Juan, Reggie and Tessa will help put us in the position to do just that. They bring a wealth of grassroots organizing experience and deep Florida connections to the FDP and I’m thrilled to have them on the team.”