13 May 2005

Karen Thurman to lead Florida Democrats

Last Saturday, Florida Democrats elected a former congresswoman to lead their party back to political relevance in the Sunshine State. Karen Thurman, of Dunnellon, was overwhelmingly elected to the state chair position by the party's State Executive Committee. Scott Maddox resigned the party chairmanship in order to run for statewide office, presumably for governor, and Thurman will complete his term until December 2008. Thurman was defeated in 2002 by Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite (R- Brooksville) after Republicans gerrymandered the district during reapportionment so Brown-Waite could win.

Karen Thurman inherits a party in crisis. Florida Democrats suffered devastating losses at the polls last fall, and recent finance reports show the party in horrendous financial shape. After the party's disappointing results in 2002, no one thought that the state Democratic Party could sink any lower. They were wrong. Under the leadership of Maddox, Florida Democrats saw Senator John Kerry lose by five percentage points to President George W. Bush, House Democrats lost three more seats in the legislature, and the U.S. Senate seat that had been held by Bob Graham for eighteen years was won by the Republicans. The icing on the cake was an act of cronyism reported by the Tallahassee Democrat when the former chairman offered a $100,000 party contract to Maddox loyalists, essentially sticking his successor with the bill.

Now, the party that once held all positions of power in Florida has a steep hill to climb. Most agree that it will take the star power of someone like Karen Thurman to bring the Democrats back to political relevance in Florida. FloridapolitiX.com expects great things from Thurman and wishes her the best of luck.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that Scott really hurt the Party. He only used it to advance his own political career and that is a shame.

I am very excited about Karen Thurman. She is a very impressive woman and would still be in Congress if the GOP hadn't rigged her congressional seat during the 2002 redistricting.

Congratulations to Karen Thurman and welcome! Good riddance to Scott Maddox.

9:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blame for the Maddox disaster goes to 1. Maddox; 2. Jon Ausman for setting the stage to coup Bob Poe; 3. the elected who pushed Poe out; 4. the DEC's for turning a blind eye to the situation at the FDP.

I hope Thurman can turn it around. She will need all the help she can get.

9:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thurman is a great choice, but no one will drag us out of this hole overnight. More than just Thurman, the party needs a whole lot of new blood. The sooner that the long time leadership (the Ausman's, Glasser's, Caesar's, etc.) is moved out and replaced with people committed to raising money and building party infrastructure, the better.

Maddox has left the place in a disaster. More than anything, Thurman needs the resources to begin rebuilding the party. No one, no matter how good they are, can do it on a shoestring budget. Now is the time for every good Democrat to support her, both emotionally and financially.

So, all the best to Karen Thurman. May the work she does today lay the foundation for great things in the days to come.

12:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott helped us in more ways than most of you know. The party isn't in as bad of shape as some make it out to be. But yes, it's not pretty at headquarters right now.

We will recover and will be ready come 2006.

But I was going for Thurmon and was glad she won.


Maddox or Davis for Governor-06!

4:37:00 PM  

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