Yesterday, Annette Taddeo dropped out of the race for FDP Chair and endorsed Allison Tant. Despite our initial reaction that this may move the race irrevocably in Tant’s favor, after re-canvassing many activists and members of the State Committee throughout Florida yesterday afternoon and evening, we see little movement in the contest between Tant and Alan Clendenin.
In fact, despite the public momentum for Tant, the race itself is incredibly static from a pure numbers standpoint. While we saw much movement in Tant’s first week after announcing her candidacy, including the decision of Jon Ausman to allow Tant to take the Leon Chair without opposition, little has changed mathematically in the race since early last week.
In fact, Taddeo’s endorsement at least thus far has not affected the strong level of support in major urban counties (including her own) for Alan Clendenin. Similarly, Tant who had secured Orange County’s support previously has not been hurt as of yet by Clendenin’s strong endorsement from the Hispanic Caucus, although that endorsement served to freeze any possible support shifting to Taddeo from Clendenin hastening her decision to drop out of the race.
Additionally, last week Taddeo received the endorsement from Democracy for America, which was perceived as a big deal in activist circles. Many DFA members had previously been backing Clendenin. With Taddeo’s withdrawal from the race it is entirely possible DFA support will shift en masse to Clendenin. This has yet to happen but very well could in the next 48-72 hours.
The vote for FDP Chair will be held January 26th in Lake Mary. Based on the weighted voting procedures of the FDP, the most important counties to secure support from in the race are in order, Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Hillsborough. The last six chairs of the Florida Democratic Party have come from outside this important bloc of counties, and the last four (and five of the last six) have come from north of the Orlando Metropolitan Area. The last six chairs have all come from counties with under 250,000 registered voters. Should Tant be elected, she would continue this trend away from large urbanized counties at the very same time as Democrats as a party are becoming almost entirely reliant on these places to win elections.
We will keep you posted on the latest developments all week as they unfold.
EDIT: In our initial posting we stated Annette Taddeo endorsed Annette Taddeo. Of course, we mean Allison Tant. The piece has now been edited. We regret the error.