Florida Politics: Judy Mount, Alan Clendenin lead list of Democrats endorsing Manny Diaz

Democrats’ state chair candidate touts 26 new endorsements.

Florida Democratic Party officials Judy Mount and Francine Garcia and Democratic National Committee Member Alan Clendenin top a list of 26 Democratic Party officials endorsing Manny Diaz to be the state Party’s new chair.

Diaz, the former Miami Mayor, announced the list of party officials supporting his campaign to succeed outgoing Chair Terrie Rizzo.

Earlier Monday, Cynthia Moore Chestnut, a longtime Democratic elected official and party leader from Gainesville, announced her own list of endorsements, 18 Black elected officials, and Civil Rights activists. Other announced FDP chair candidates include Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida President Janelle Christensen and former Democratic National Committee member Nikki Barnes.

On Monday, Diaz’s campaign rolled out a list that included Mount, who is the Jackson County Democratic chair and state committeewoman, who was elected in 2016 to be the state Party’s 1st vice-chair and a member of the Democratic National Committee; Garcia, who was elected in 2016 to be the state Party’s treasurer; Clendenin of Hillsborough County, who also is a DNC member and also chair of the DNC’s Southern Caucus; and Alma Gonzalez of Hillsborough County, a DNC member.

Others include:

— John Ford, Pasco County Democratic chair;

— Daniel Henry, Duval County DEC chair;

— Ricky Rivers, Bay County DEC chair;

— Steve Simeonidis, Miami-Dade County Democratic chair;

— Celeste Bush, former St. Lucie County Democratic chair;

— Karen Clay, the Democratic Disability Caucus chair

Stephen Gaskill, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus president;

— Glenn Joseph, founder of the Caribbean Caucus and the Democratic Diversity & Inclusion Committee State vice chair;

— Sajan Kurian, South Asian American Democratic Caucus chair;

— Hazelle Rogers, Lauderdale Lakes Mayor and Caribbean Democratic caucus chair;

— Rabbi Mark Winer, Florida Democratic Caucus of American Jews chair;

— Shauna Adams-Farries, state committeewoman for Hamilton County;

— Jocelyn Dickman, state committeewoman for Pasco County;

— Ric Gable, state committeeman for Jackson County;

— Lucy Garner, state committeewoman for Charlotte County;

— Tom Garner, state committee member for Charlotte County;

— Alan Harris, state committeeman for Lake County

— Lillian Lockette, state committeewoman for Lake County;

— Ken Russell, Miami City Commissioner and chair of the Democrats’ Municipal Victory Program.

“I am excited to endorse Manny because he knows we need to be investing in our local parties and year-round organizing focused on voter engagement to set Florida Democrats up for success, which includes a continued investment in the FDP’s Municipal Victory Program,” Henry said in a news release issued by Diaz’s campaign.

“I am a proud Florida Democrat and so excited to support Manny as the next FDP Chair because we need leadership that will help build our party from the ground up, which includes our party clubs and caucuses, DECs, and organizers in counties across the state,” Gaskill said.

“Manny Diaz believes we cannot take any voter for granted and we cannot leave any voter behind, which means investing in party organizations across the state, including small and medium-sized county organizations — this is I am excited Manny is ready and willing to take over leadership of the Florida Democratic Party and get us back on track to win,” Dickman said.

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