For the last several years the Democrats in Florida have been nothing but a rug, just getting nothing but step and drag on by Republicans who've done a great job in fucking up the state from the inside out. In a state like Florida that should'nt happen. Ever since the beginning of the 2000's the Democratic Party in Florida has taken a hit after losing of control of both state house in the mid 90's, then the Republicans were able to gerrymander the state like never before. Putting a hit on the Democratic party bench, which showed there inability to put first tier candidates for statewide races, especially for the Governorship.
You could wonder how would Janet Reno had fair if she became the Democrat nominee for Governor in '02 instead of Bill McBride (husband of Alex Sink). As we all know McBride went on to lose as Jeb Bush won another term. Then in '06 you had Jim Davis, the former Congressman who represented Tampa and parts of St. Petersberg in the US House, we also know how that worked out as then Attorney General Charlie Crist went on to succeed Jeb Bush as the next Governor of Florida. Florida Dems don't have a deep bench, nor many top tier candidates beside Bill Nelson. In 2004 we did field a top tier candidate in Betty Castor (mother of Kathy Castor), who ran a good campaign. She was elected as Education Commissionaire during Gov. Bob Martinez and Gov. Lawton Chiles tenure, and served as a state senator where she served president of that chamber. She eventually went on to lose by a hair to Mel Martinez (no relations to Bob). Then Bob Butterworth who had more of a statewide name recognition in being a four term Attorney General. In regards of Butterworth he did us a disservice when he ran a state senate race in '02, in which he ran a lazy campaign hence losing by 10. There was alot of options he could had done. He could had made a run for Governor if he felt like he could had beat Jeb Bush, or he could had just ran again for AG which would had been a sure reelection. By doing that he could had preserved himself for potentially succeeding Bob Graham in '04 for Senator, or Jeb Bush in '06 for Governor. Those races I'm pretty sure he would had won either one.
You look at the bench now for Florida Dems you only have four prominent folks and all four are women. Two of them you only can see just having a future in Tallahasse and the other two in Washington.
Alex Sink who still is licking her chops to go at it again with Rick Scott Rick will be a certain underdog and be a huge drag for other Republicans down ticket. She making alot of appearances around the state and judging by that gives you a indicator that she's going to give another go. It will be a huge surprise if she decides not to. Even though Nan Rich the minority leader in the Senate said she is running and a recent poll by PPP gave her a 47-34 lead against, rings true that anybody can beat Rick Scott. In reality though Alex Sink has the first right to refusal and acceptance before any other Democrat in Florida.
The next person that you can see have a executive in the Governors mansion shall Sink not decide to run (which is unlikely) is Pam Iorio the former Mayor of Tampa. She has vast appeal. The only knock against her is that she's not well known outside of Tampa-St. Pete. She's the type of Democrat that could make inroads and get tap into traditional Democrat land in the "Big Bend" part of the Florida Panhandle in North Florida.
The two following people in the Florida bench for the Democrats have more of a future in Washinton, Congresswomen Kathy Castor from Tampa and Debbie Wasserman Schultz from Fort Lauderdale. Between those two I believe Castor would be a better state wide candidate then DWS. Usually South Florida Dems don't have that much appeal, because Florida is much different once you get out the counties of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. Plus Democrats will always win that part of the state. Even though by their politics and votiong records both women are progressive/liberal Kathy Castor brings more because 1. She’s from Tampa which helps alot 2. She speaks with a distinguishable Southern accent like Bill Nelson, which helps her in ancestral Democratic areas in the Big Bend part of North Florida and perhaps Jacksonville, unlike DWS who’s a SoFla girl thru and thru. 3. She’s a vigorous champion when it comes to seniors and the safety net. Castor is the type of candidate who can succeed Bill Nelson. DWS you can see as being a major Democrat in the House of Representatives, as she'll work her way up the leadership ranks.
After that Florida Dems don't have much and that comes from a history of consistent inability to field candidates possessing both the “retail” skills or "appeal" that would make who want to vote for them. With Sink that was the best candidate that Dems put up for the Governorship in quite a while. She had the "retail" but no "appeal" that would motivate the base. With that loss and a brand new approach about her you can see that she learned from that lesson and would be prime to squash Lex Luther like a cockroach in '14.
Then that brings us to Scott Randolph who a couple of months ago announce that he would forego a final term in the state house since he will be termed limited and instead run for Party Chairman for the Democrats in Florida. In trying to succeed Rod Smith the current chairman who I believe done a good job after the disastrous elections in 2010. The two main things that stuck out during his tenure was the Jacksonville mayoral race in the election of Alvin Brown. Jacksonville which it's city limits comprises about 97-98 of the county line for Duval county, is becoming a swing county and no longer dye in the wool red. Getting a Democratic candidate elected their, putting the appropriate amount of funding and resource was HUGE. Not forgetting Alvin Brown is the first African-American to be elected as Mayor of Jacksonville. Also getting a decent congressional map for redistricting under the fair districts amendments, that I personally can't nit pick beside the obvious preservation of the artifact Bill Young, by taking all of downtown St. Pete and putting it in Castor's diistrict. If there is one thing I would criticize Smith on is that I thought he could had better map for the state senate were it could had been damn near close to 50/50 instead of the GOP having a 4-5 seat edge, but definitly much better the them having the current 16 seat advantage.
Besides serving in the state senate Randolph serves as the party chairman in Orange Country (Orlando), a very important county which year by year is trending bluer. Being county chairman that means he's running the operations and ground game for Democrats in the November election in Orange County. From the very top of the ticket with Pres. Obama all the down to state and local elections. With this office that is being vacated by Rod Smith after the general election, Randolph is the type of person who I believe should fill this roll. He's very progressive, he's not afraid to go toe to toe with the with the state GOP. he's never shy in criticizing them especially Rick Scott. Him and his wife Susannah started the progressive group called FloridaWatchAction. If you search him up on YouTube you'll see his great speeches on the state house floor. Him and his wife group has launch the "Pink Slip Rick" efforts by exposing what he's done as Governor, and being a pain in the ass everywhere he shows up which I love!
I believe the moment Randolph is elected the FDP will make a complete 180, and become more efficient. He needs to clean house, and implement a new foundation that will cultivate viable candidates across Florida, in statewide races and state legislature races. Anybody who dare opposes his leadership and his new fresh approach should might as well be support the corrupted RPOF, and their leader Rick Scott. His take "no prisoners" attitude is exactly what's needed, it's time the FDP to stop rolling over and playing "welcome" doormat in the State of Florida.