Democrats! Forget Governor, Cabinet Races In 2017; Concentrate On Legislature





Florida Democrats!

Forget about the governor’s race in 2018.

Forget the Cabinet, too.

Florida Democratic time and money would be better used concentrating on a handful of races in the state Legislature.

Picking up a just a few state Senate and House seats would produce real change in Tallahassee. Such a tactic would remake Florida politics.

Don’t expect party bosses to tell the truth. Winning a governor or statewide Cabinet post is near impossible.

The default choice of a majority of off-year voters is Republican. It’s been that way for decades.

A Democrat hasn’t won a governor’s race since 1994. That was a year of Lawton Chiles’ last victory when he beat Jeb Bush by just 1.6 percent.


Lawton Chiles: Last elected Democratic governor


A self-described Florida Cracker, Criles was the last moderate Democrat who could win substantial white votes in north Florida.

The rest of the Ds statewide accomplishments are just as dismal.

There has been no Democratic Attorney General or Agriculture Commissioner since 2002’s election. The last Democratic Cabinet officer was Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who left office in 2011.

The Governor’s Mansion or Cabinet remains an uphill slog with little chance of victory. The hopeless effort would drain limited Democratic resources. It would be much better to take smaller bites – a handful of state Senate and House seats.

Victory in legislative races is achievable. The campaigns cost far less than statewide efforts, so the usually cash-poor Democrats could be competitive.

Republicans now hold a 24-15 majority in the state Senate.

Just a few more seats and the Democrats could block the GOP senators. Because of that power, Democrats would be brought into the discussions to shape legislation. The Ds – without counting on some R votes — could have a real impact on Tallahassee for the first time in years.

The House is the same.

Republicans hold a 78-41 majority. The Democrats are just short of a supermajority needed to stop the GOP’s most conservative moves.

If the tactic is successful, Democrats can count on two additional benefits:

*More contributions in future election. Real influence translates into money.

*A growing bench of future candidates. New lawmakers would be part of a farm team for tomorrow’s statewide elections.

I know. I know.

Democratic dreamers will point to President Donald Trump. They predict that Trump’s shenanigans will drive votes to their candidates next year.

Maybe. Maybe not.

Why leave Democratic fortunes to the volatile world of Trump and GOP politics? It would be much better to plan for victory in smaller races without counting on the Trump and the GOP to fumble.

It took years for Democrats to get in the cellar of Florida politics. It will take years to climb out.

The first step should be a few doable legislative races.


8 Responses to “Democrats! Forget Governor, Cabinet Races In 2017; Concentrate On Legislature”

  1. Pat says:

    I agree with Buddy’s outlook on Democrats chances for statewide offices. The Florida Democratic Party is truly fractured between FDP/DEC party leaders vs. the grassroots activists.

    The 2017 Unity Dinner has exposed two major underlying issues that is problematic to the Democratic Party in Florida (and America) today. RACISM and CLASSISM

    I commend FL. ST. Sen. Lauren Book for honestly relaying the message of the FDP Chair Bittel to her fellow legislators. If Democrats need an example of what type of leaders to run for the Florida Legislature, they should support candidates who will stand for what’s right, like Sen. Book has.

  2. Key to victory says:

    In order to get elected Democrats should:
    1) Stop using abortion as a method of birth control, the public no longer supports it.
    2) support education to benefit our children and not the teacher’s union
    3)support clean water and air, a good environment, and forget about the global warming hoax
    4) learn that unequal wealth is better than an equal distribution of poverty, and creates more jobs.
    5) Understand that a majority of Americans want a secure border and law and order.
    6) Russians are not as big of a threat as those who want to slit your throat because you do not follow the holly Quran.
    7) Beleave that all lives matter.

  3. Seth Platt says:

    This article is absurd. Democrats lost the gubernatorial election in 2010 by 1.2% and in 2014 by 1%. In what world is that not winnable by Dems given better planning, organization, and fundraising?

    We appreciate your continued unsolicited advice on how to run our party. Perhaps you should concentrate your energies on something more constructive. We have. Broward Democrats are more organized then they have ever been. Sure we have obstacles to overcome, but we are more motivated now than ever. We will strive to put Democratic candidates in every position we possibly can no matter how great the challenge.

    There will come a time when the majority of Floridians will realize how far astray Republicans in Florida have led them. Their lack of commitment to the values of our society and this great State have become ever more apparent. Our waters run green and lap at our doorsteps and the heat becomes more merciless with every rotation of the sun, the sick and the poor are repudiated by the State and too many struggle to get by every month, our education system descends into an abyss while higher ed costs soar, and Republicans thwart many Floridians most essential rights to even participate in Democracy. Republicans run our state into the ground, yet all appears rubicund because those at the top of the mountain speak about the gleaming vision that many of us will never get a glimpse of.

    We will rise from the depths of Florida’s waters and strike down the tyranny they have reigned upon us. For we are the knights of the Summer of Resistance, and Summer…well it started yesterday.


    Seth, always remember that Broward County is not representative of the rest of the state. And the Broward County Democratic Party is not representative of most voters.

  4. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    At first glance at this story I thought it was written by Mayor Seiler. Go for elected county mayor or are you going to encourage atty >BoB Kelley(love dthe great Gatsby video)to run for that seat too. (hmm). These moles that came to me this week just fodder or are you “trying to keep the gravy train going” which was the exact quote. As far as the Demos trying to regain your seats get rid of Connie (nancy polosi)Corleone. Did you hear hear I love the arena,bring it on. This cockiness (hers) is part of the problem. And listen to seth platt. I mean if it wasn’t for daddy there ,you would be pumping gas. Just kidding. Maybe you should throw your hat in the ring(good luck). Much work needs to be done. If Gwen Graham is to go all the way she better get busy. Dump Debbie wasserman shulz(tainted)..

  5. JOSEPH KREPS says:

    2018 will be our best chance to take the Governorship. If we have a candidate with integrity that the people identify with and trusts to work for the people instead of Greedy Corporations and special interests we will win. That is the key to our quest to turning Florida Blue.

  6. Democratic Committeeman says:

    Brilliant advice! My fellow Democrats will never accept it and 2018 will be a year of loss again.

  7. Frank Hanslavic says:

    Can Seth Platt explain what the Democrats stand for? No. I didn’t think so.

  8. A reader says:

    Democrats seem to believe in running the same old candidates over and over again. The Geller brothers, Eleanor Sobel, Nan Rich, and others bounce back and forth from office to office. When Wasserman Schultz loses her next election, she will most likely scope out another government check via election to another office.

    The party will never progress until new candidates who have a platform that voters can respond to are found. Looking, but not seeing anyone on the horizon. The old power players are clinging to their positions with iron grips.

    Same on the national scene. The days of Clinton, Pelosi, Warren, and Sanders are coming to an end as Mother Nature ages out everyone. Evidently they are not grooming anyone competent to occupy their power positions. The last Democrat candidate who ran in Georgia did not even live in the district and could not vote there. Convoluted thinking!