New Broward Democratic Chair Must Save A Collapsing Party







The Broward County Democratic Party will pick a new leader shortly.

The two activists who want to run the party — Rick Hoye or Alfredo Olvera — must be gluttons for punishment. 


Rick Hoye


Alfredo Olvera


The local party was crushed in the last election. 

Donald Trump did better in Broward than he did in 2016.  Trump’s improvement was “much greater” than Joe Biden’s improvement over Hillary Clinton, wrote the Sun-Sentinel last month. 

Biden didn’t do as well as Trump despite the local party’s bragging about organizing. Despite the phone banking. Despite whatever work the local party did. 

Let’s not dwell on Biden. At least he won. Let’s go down ballot. 

Local Democrats lost two state House races.

Cindy Polo of Miramar was the one-term House Democrat. She was beaten by Republican Tom Fabricio of Miramar. 

Linda Thompson Gonzalez was a well-funded Democrat who was thought to have a chance. She was shoved aside easily by the GOP’s State Rep. Chip LaMarca of Fort Lauderdale.

Browardbeat wonders if it would have gone differently if Gonzalez had picked a different consultant. Her campaign paid TJP Strategies of Plantation roughly $65,000 for work described in state financial reports as consulting, political strategy and field work.

Everybody knows Plantation is the heart of political excellence!

Gonzalez got Plantation’s finest. She got TJP, which is managed by Travis Perron.  He’s a former local party executive director who worked for Broward Democratic Chair Cynthia Busch. 

TJP also got some “organizing” work from the Busch-led party. Hmmmm.

Busch is not running for reelection for what Browardbeat believes is good reason.

Perhaps Busch’s troubled tenure as party boss is best reflected in the poor Democratic results in the city races. City races are nominally non-partisan, but both major parties openly campaign for their candidates. This is because city halls is where future candidate are found.

The most talked about Democratic loss last month was Weston. Democrats were thought to have everything going their way in the mayor’s race. 

The Ds had a veteran consultant, Barbara Miller.  They had a name-candidate, former State Rep. Richard Stark.  

Stark was boldly considered a shoo in by Democrats. Instead, the new Weston mayor is Peggy Brown, a self-described conservative who was promoted heavily by Broward GOP.

Talking to Democrats reveal some of the problems that plagued the Stark campaign. 

Poor campaign tools. 

Unimaginative strategy. 

And a resentment by some voters that Stark was just another recycled Democratic candidate looking for a place to land.  

One campaign volunteer in Weston explained to Browardbeat what volunteers experienced. Are you listening, Barbara Miller? 

The volunteer was hampered by inaccurate Democratic call lists, which included voters who had moved and bad telephone numbers. The GOP lists were much more accurate, the volunteer said. 

Maybe Stark would have done better with a different campaign consultant. After all, Miller has been around since the only thing living in most of Weston was alligators and snakes.

If Democrats want to start winning again, it’s time for a new group of Democratic consultants. Someone who believes that Social Security is a future promise and not their current paycheck.

It’s time for a new group of candidates. 

Turning around the Broward Democratic Party will be hard. I don’t envy either of the two candidates fighting in this weekend’s election for the next chair, Hoye or Olvera. (Only party precinct committee members and elected officials can vote.) 

Saving the party will be as difficult as turning an ocean liner. 

But in this case, the ship has already hit the iceberg. 

The only thing the next chair can do is jump in a lifeboat, save what he can and rebuild. 

17 Responses to “New Broward Democratic Chair Must Save A Collapsing Party”

  1. Heavy D says:

    What kiind of Bullshit Right wing crap is this?, “If Democrats want to start winning again, it’s time for a new group of Democratic consultants. Someone who believes that Social Security is a promise not a paycheck.”?????

    Thanks for the advice on how we should run our party. I think the other side needs lots more help. Since you have their talking points down maybe you ought to focus your energies on all of their losses.

  2. D Voter says:

    This Heavy D is delusional. “…focus your energies on their losses.”
    The Democrats lost by a largeer percentage in Florida and Trump did much better also. The Democrats lost seats in the House all across the nation.
    I’m not a fan of Trump at all. This comment shows the party’s arrogance. “how we should run OUR party.” Not the Democratic voters. “OUR party.”
    What a comment.

  3. Elections have consequences says:

    Maybe, just maybe the pattern of “D’s” and “R’s” voting for only “D’s” or “R’s” is cracking a bit. Maybe, just maybe voters actually try to determine who is the best qualified candidate. Perhaps some union members don’t follow the union recommendations like good little sheep. Definitely, the demographics of Broward change frequently. Definitely money from outside sources backs radical candidates. Possibly some voters were benefitted by the Trump tax cuts, particularly small businesses pre pandemic and took a look at the “R’s”.

    So many variables, so little evidence that many candidates and consultants notice changes in the voters they target for a “win”.

  4. FTL Voter says:

    This claim is purely speculative and made-up: “The [Stark] volunteer was hampered by inaccurate Democratic call lists, which included voters who had moved and bad telephone numbers. The GOP lists were much more accurate, the volunteer said.”

    I’m 100% sure that a Democratic volunteer on the Stark campaign had no access to the GOP call lists being used by the Brown campaign.

  5. Calfloridia says:

    Actually, I agree in part. However, it was Jim Norton that pulled enough votes away from Stark that caused his defeat. Any partisan efforts were nominal on the electoral results. BREC has little influence on any local elections.


    “BREC has little influence on any local election…” Maybe, but the GOP activists made major efforts to win in Weston. The Democrats? Not in any effective way.

    Why did Norton pull votes from Stark and not Brown? Or both?

    The bottom line: The only reason for the Democratic Party organization to exist is to win elections. Many, if not most, Democratic insiders openly backed Stark.

    The results was that the Weston mayor and two commission seats are now held by Republicans. That can only be interpreted as a defeat for Democrats and their election mechanism.

  6. Count LF Chidkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:


    I ran I worked I won. When the next step on the ladder required X dollars n y publicity AND I SAW I COULDNT GET ENOUGH OF EITHER. I DID NOT RUN.

    Today a candidate WITHOUT ENOUGH MONEY or PUBLICITY runs ANYWAY.


  7. Old Timer says:

    I can remember when Super Opportunist Rick Stark was a hot-shot Republican! What goes around, comes around.

  8. John Lundin says:

    It should be easy for Broward Democrats to win the next election cycle in 2022… with Gov DeSantis guaranteed to lose because of his inept response to COVID-19… and no Trump on the ballot to bring out REP voters…

  9. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    PS Chip LaMarca has been DOING THINGS for Republicans Democrats n Independents FOR DECADES.Of course he beat Miss Gonzalez who NO ONE KMEW.

  10. disgruntled says:

    i am a florida resident for over 40 years and this is near the best governor i have seen. Mr london his response to covid is only bad to you because the local mullet wrapper, which should be correctly labeled a partisan mouthpiece for the progressive left, hammers him and every republican on a daily basis over this matter. I TRULY HOPE THAT SOMEDAY WE LEAVE THEPOLITICS OUT OF THIS ISSUE, ALAS NEVER HAPPEN, HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY ALL YOU HATERS…..

  11. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    #10 to praise a Governor who refused to release MEDICAL INFORMATION OR TAKE ACTION DURING A PANDEMIC leaves me SPEECHLESS.

  12. A reader says:

    “Sentimental Sunday” musing:
    Claude Kirk was an entertaining yet effective Republican Governor of Florida. He stressed defensive driving, not the offensive driving that has become so popular and deadly in South Florida.
    Claude urged people to turn on their headlights during rain storms. That, of course, is a law often followed now. If only people could find their turn signal controls!


    Kirk was a colorful character. But after listening to the clownish Kirk, many Floridians were not laughing. The first Republican to be elected governor since Reconstruction, leading Republicans called Kirk an embarrassment.

    He fought with almost everybody. He opposed desegregation and environmental protections. And he couldn’t resist a camera: In a highly publicized stunt, Kirk showed up at a rally with black activist H. Rap Brown and turned ‘fears of racial violence into a first class publicity soup’, according to the UPI. He challenged Fidel Castro to a debate. He hired a group of private detectives to wage a “war on crime,” which never amounted to anything but headlines. He took a submarine to the ocean bottom off the coast, planted a flag and claimed the area as new territory for Florida. He made 10 out-of-state appearances every month, sometimes flying in the private planes of road contractors who did millions of dollars in business with the state.

    After 48 hours without conflict or gimmickry, he was quoted in the New York Times as telling a Detroit crowd: “To be terribly frank, I am going through a crisis of non-controversy right now.”

    Sound familiar?

    Kirk really was an outrageous reality-TV star before his time. He “governed” mostly in the late 60s. When he ran for reelection, he was easily beaten by Reubin Askew in the 1970 election.

    Check this out:

  13. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Didnt Claude Kirk have a very pretty South American girlfriend who caused a scandal n was called a ‘Spitfire’? Like the situation decades later with Governor Sanford?



    Erika Mattfeld, who the media for a time was dubbed “Madam X” before her name was revealed, was a German-born woman living in Brazil. He married her while he was governor. I don’t remember the nickname “Spitfire”.

  14. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Gone are the days of politicians with INDIVIDUALISTIC characters. DeSantis Gaetz Scott even Rubio are MINDLESS CLONES while the Dems havent had someone with spirit outside Val.Demnings since Indep. Charlie Crist. Dan Gelber when ge runs statewife will PUT US TO SLEEP! Nikki Fried screams too much.

  15. Big, Big, Big D says:

    Hoye was elected. Good luck to him. You are right Buddy. He will need it because the Democratic Party is broken and needs a fix.

  16. Virginia says:

    Barbara Miller and Judy Stern screwed the pooch last cycle. These two are so dumb that they ran candidates against each other all over the county and both of them lost….Miller was investigated for school board fraud but still represents school board candidates. Rick Hoyes win has caused the young progressives to pick up their toys and leave. No one who is willing to work is left. Hoye is notorious for taking on more than he can chew and doing nothing…


    Barbara Miller was investigated. Please remember that she was never charged or convicted of anything.

  17. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    The Florida Democratic Committee has sent out a ‘call’ for Florida Dems to COLD CALL Georgia Voters. IDIOTIC! 1. They COULDNT carry Florida for BIDEN and now WE HEAR IN GEORGIA which DID can see OUR NEIGHBORS IN GEORGIA will RESENT THUS? ARE FLORIDA DRMS AS DUMB AS TEXAS REPUBLICANS?