Florida Politics: Manny Diaz rolls out more congressional support for Democrats’ chair bid

Charlie Crist, Lois Frankel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Donna Shalala back Diaz.

Four more members of Florida’s congressional delegation announced support for former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz‘s bid to become the next chair of the Florida Democratic Party.

Reps. Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg, Lois Frankel of Boca Raton, Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston and Donna Shalala of Miami endorsed Diaz, his campaign announced Friday.

They follow Rep. Frederica Wilson of Miami Gardens, who endorsed Diaz Wednesday.

In addition to Diaz, a lawyer who was Mayor of Miami from 2001-’09, candidates include former lawmaker Cynthia Moore Chestnut of Alachua County, Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida President Janelle Christensenand former Democratic National Committee member Nikki Barnes. Still more are said to be testing the waters.

FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo, who was elected to that post in 2017, informed party officials last week that she would not seek another term. Diaz was the first major candidate to announce, doing so before Rizzo stepped down.

The next FDP chair will take over a party that is struggling with finances and elections failures. Democrats just suffered across-the-board election disappointments in the Nov. 3 General Election.

“The work ahead to rebuild and strengthen the FDP will not be easy but I believe Manny’s record as mayor and his decades of experience in organizing and supporting Democrats gives him the tools for success,” Frankel stated in a news release issued by Diaz’s campaign.

“To make change, we need more leaders fighting for our state and we cannot do that until we invest in the people, the infrastructure, the organizing and the message to elect Democrats up and down the ticket in every corner of this state,” Crist said.

“I’ve seen Manny’s work and dedication to improving the lives of so many across South Florida firsthand and I know he is uniquely qualified to lead and rebuild the Florida Democratic Party,” Shalala said.

“Manny’s roots are in organizing and voter registration, skills that took him to the Miami Mayor’s office where he breathed new financial life into the city,” Wasserman Schultz said. ” Whether it’s mobilizing voters or demolishing disinformation, the bottom line is that Manny knows how to get things done.”

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