If you aren’t inside you are outside goes the famous saying. In the case of Democratic legislative candidates this is a situation that is clear every single day. With limitless opportunities to grow in this state thanks to significant demographic changes and a more favorable apportionment of legislative seats, the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) seems committed to a facade of action when in reality they are creating more bitter feelings than ever.
Florida’s Democratic Party has failed to provide fundraising lists, campaign help or even at times returning calls in a timely fashion about buying the excellent voters file (The VAN) that has thankfully been developed over the past several years should be provided free of cost to any Democratic candidate as it is many other states.
Consider this: Many self recruited Democratic House candidates who are running in truly marginal seats (marginal by any definition except that of the FDP who takes the path of least resistance to targeting) are struggling to raise money without proper fundraising lists and are struggling against a barrage of GOP money. The best way these Democrats can communicate or even raise money is through direct voter contact, which is dependent on accurate voter data. Now the party can rely on self recruited candidates to occupy incumbent Republicans in marginal seats but they aren’t seeing it this way. Basic fundraising contact lists and voter information should be made available to any Democrat running for state legislature free of cost by the party.
Instead, they have taken a seemingly indifferent bordering on hostile stand towards not “chosen” candidates as evidenced on this page of the new Florida Dems website and this video shown at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner last weekend. The vast majority of Democrats running for the House across the state are being visibly snubbed by the state party.
The aforementioned video in particular became a subject of controversy this past week throughout the state as Democratic activists backing candidates running in primaries against those featured in the video became vocal.
Over on the Senate side the FDP smartly recruited candidates to 30 senate seats. Unfortunately one of the seats left uncontested is the urban St Petersburg based SD-22, a district carried both by Alex Sink and Barack Obama. But according to the Florida Dems site, only three Senate races warrant any sort of mention on the official party website.
As Florida’s Democratic activists work hard to rebuild a party that has been destroyed over the past two decades by self inflicted wounds, the state party should be willing to make at least a minimal effort to help this effort. But it seems the FDP is more committed to playing obstructionist than willing leader in the effort to turn Florida blue again.