Florida Democrats launch Take Back Local initiative to win municipal seats

by | Feb 26, 2024

The Florida Democratic Party launched the Take Back Local program on Monday in order to support municipal election candidates across the state, aiming to flip local government seats to Democrats and build the party’s grassroots base.

The Florida Democratic Party on Monday announced its Take Back Local program, aiming to support candidates in municipal elections across the state.

This initiative targets seven local races, with the goal of flipping city council and commission seats to Democrats in an effort to strengthen the party’s grassroots presence. The program will provide infrastructure support to selected candidates, reflecting the party’s strategy to regain influence at the local level as a stepping stone to broader electoral success.

Nikki Fried, the chair of the Florida Democratic Party, emphasized the nonpartisan nature of these elections and the importance of informing voters about candidates who align with Democratic values.

“These races are nonpartisan so it’s important for voters to know which candidates will fight for our values and it’s our job as a party to provide the infrastructure democratic candidates need to win — that’s how we will take back Florida. We are fielding candidates and contesting races everywhere and it starts at the local level,” Fried said.

Candidates receiving support include Maria Rodriguez (Pembroke Pines City Commission, District 3), Karen McNeil (Winter Garden City Commission, District 3), Andy Thomson (Boca Raton City Council, Seat D), Yvette Drucker (Boca Raton City Council, Seat A), Mark Bunker (Clearwater City Council, Seat 2), Javante Scott (Clearwater City Council, Seat 3) and George Oliver (Ocoee City Commission, District 4). The party stated that these individuals were selected for their “potential to advance Democratic principles.”

“We have developed a rigorous review process to identify candidates and campaigns running in competitive local races across the state,” said Candidates and Campaigns Director Danielle Hawk. “We are prioritizing local races first because this is where we can make the most impact.”

The initiative is launched as the Florida Democratic Party is building momentum on the back of surprise wins in the Jacksonville mayoral race (Donna Deegan) and in House District 35 (Rep. Tom Keen). Despite the victories, the Republican Party of Florida has surpassed the Democratic Party in voter registrations by approximately 810,000, as of February 1. In amassing the registration lead, the state GOP has flipped several counties and made gains in populous regions like Hillsborough and Duval Counties.


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