Nearly three weeks after the general election and a week after the Legislature met in an organizational session, Florida House Democrats are still building their leadership team for the 2018-2020 legislative term. Democratic Leader Kionne McGhee, D-Miami, has named three legislators to serve as floor leaders, two of them coming from the Tampa area and the third coming from the Orlando area.
McGhee announced the three floor leaders in a release sent out Monday afternoon. They are representatives Geraldine Thompson, D-Windermere; Diane Hart, D-Tampa; and, Ben Diamond, D-St. Petersburg.
“As we transition into a new legislative year, I am confident of the progress this caucus will achieve. I am thrilled and honored to appoint such dedicated public servants and know that they will successfully execute these pivotal roles in order to launch forward into a new era of cooperation,” said McGhee. “We look forward to forging the kind of legislative priorities that will work to serve the best interests of all Floridians.”
The newly appointed House Democratic floor leaders will serve as liaisons between McGhee and Speaker Jose Oliva and the House Rules Committee. They will also manage the debate of Democratic members when special procedures have been implemented on bills and amendments for floor debates.
House Republicans still maintain a strong majority, although Democrats did pick up a handful of seats on the GOP. Republicans hold a 73-47 majority in the House, down from their 76-41 advantage in 2018
Republicans outnumber Democrats 23 to 17 in the Senate.