Exclusive: Developments in House Democratic Leader Race

Rep. Darryl Rouson (D-St Petersburg) two weeks ago claimed to have the commitments of a majority of members of the House Democratic caucus and was ready to call a vote to become Democratic Leader Designee. Last week in Tallahassee, sources indicate members were lobbied intensely by consultants associated with the party as well as some senior members to support Rep. Mia Jones (D-Jacksonville), who is a strong progressive. A third candidate, Rep. Alan Williams (D-Tallahassee) appears to have minimal support.

No vote was held last week, and current Democratic Leader Rep. Perry Thurston (D-Fort Lauderdale) has pushed rules changes to prevent the election of a leader designee until late in an odd year legislative session. The logic of this move is that a leader designee undermines the authority of the current leader during the session, a concern that is valid from a legislative perspective. However, from a political perspective this helps to give the GOP who already have major advantages in fundraising, candidate recruitment and campaign planning an even greater advantage.

I  have learned through multiple sources requesting to remain unnamed that Leader Thurston has informed some members of the caucus that he is tilting towards Jones and would like commitments to Rouson reconsidered.

It should be noted that Rouson was until 2007 a registered Republican and supported Charlie Crist against Jim Davis in the 2006 Gubernatorial election. Rouson was also appointed to Taxation & Budget Reform Commission by Governor Crist, then also a Republican. When Rep. Frank Peterman resigned, Rouson switched parties and was elected as a Democrat. Rouson despite his party switch has still supported several pieces school “choice”  legislation but has also been a forceful and strong progressive advocate on other issues.

Whether you support Rouson or Jones, the lack of a Democratic leader working to recruit candidates or plan for the 2014 elections is good news for the Republicans, who don’t need any further assistance to maintain a gaudy House majority. Republicans are already very active in candidate recruitment while Democrats shoot one another in both the FDP Chairs Race and the race for the next House Minority Leader.



4 thoughts on “Exclusive: Developments in House Democratic Leader Race

  1. By Democratic consultants you cldarly mean Christian Ulvert who is tryong to keep his party contract and knows he will be fired by Rouson. Thurston is loyal to Ulvert and is doing thos for him. That is the story here.

  2. You are so right Angry Democrat!!

    But don’t stop at Christian. Scott and every one of his long list of loosing consultants must go and everyone else in this loosing operation must go.

    It’s redicous how we keep rewarding failure with a million vote edge in Florida, from the Governor on down to the state House and Senate races, this operation has the worst record in the history of politics.

    Any business would have fired these clowns long ago.

    Only us Democrats keep rewarding failure.

    Hopefully this weekend the Democrats will wake up and elect Alan Clendenin and show the “consultant puppet” Allison Tant and DWS that we want Real Change and we want to actually WIN for a change!!!

  3. Its absolutely ridiculous for consultants and the current leadership to get involved with this race. It shows the real corruption in play here – consultants and staff trying to save their asses and 6 figure salaries. Its a microcosm of the Chair’s race. There should be by-laws to prohibit this kind of activity. Shameful…

  4. Btw, Clean House. I agree with most of your posts but please start spelling lose and ridiculous properly. Your rants would be much more effective if you didn’t continuously make these mistakes.

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