Florida Democrats Discuss Leadership Change

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

WCTV has received word that Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg has been ousted as the future leader of the Florida Democratic party. A replacement has not been named.

WCTV will bring you more information as it becomes available.

By: Mike Vasilinda
September 23, 2013

Florida’s forty four Democrats in the state House are meeting behind closed doors this evening, considering the ouster of their chosen leader. State Representative Daryl Rouson of St. Petersburg has ruffled egos at state party headquarters by threatening to fire vendors. If Rouson is ousted, it will be history repeating itself.

In 1998, Florida House Democrats had named Willie Logan of Miami to be their leader. Months later the caucus dumped Logan for his inability to raise money. Logan went on to endorse Republican Jeb Bush for Governor. “I’m most pleased with this effort that Jeb has made,” says Rep. Willie Logan October 1, 1998, D-Miami.

House Democrats have never recovered and their numbers have never been so great as they were during the Logan debacle.

In February Daryl Rouson was named the Democrats' future leader. He immediately ruffled egos after objecting the money being raised for House candidates being diverted to other expenses. He opened an account just for House races, setting off a firestorm of criticism from the state party. “It was about the members, and the caucus being accountable and responsible to itself for its own races,” says Rep. Daryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg.

Jim Waldman voted for Rouson’s opponent. Now he wants Rouson to step down or be fired. “He can say it was going to go for house victory 2014 elections, however he was the sole controller of that,” says Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek.

The Republican Party is chuckling from the sidelines. “The basic principle in the Art of War is if your enemies are going to beat each other up and fight each other, sit back and let it happen,” said via the phone, Lenny Curry, Republican Party of Florida Chairman.

The 43 Democrats will hear Rouson out behind closed doors. “I’ve done everything I could to give everything I’ve got to this incoming leader role, to elect more Democrats to the house,” says Daryl Rouson.

Once he’s explained his intentions, Rouson says if his party doesn’t want him, he’s got better things to do.

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