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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ouster effort under for Fla House Dem leader Rouson



The knives are out for Florida House Democratic leader Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg after party leaders already leery of his independence learned that he had quietly created his own fundraising committee for Florida House races. State Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, is calling on Rouson to step down as caucus leader and suggests he has enough votes to force him out if Rouson won't resign voluntarily.

Here's what Richardson sent out today:


Upon learning of the matters on Thursday night, I called for access to bank records and other information.  In the past 24 hours I have learned much.  I have been provided copies of checks.  I appreciate that Rep. Rouson reached out to me yesterday to discuss these matters directly and allowed me to ask questions.  After which, I can tell you there is no misunderstanding.  These events occurred as have been reported.  This is a very serious matter. 

After confirming the facts yesterday, I ended our phone call by asked Rep. Rouson to resign his position as Leader-Designee.  This morning, in consultation with a few other members, the below letter was drafted.  It is not expected that all members will send a public vote, nor is that the process.  However, I have received many calls, texts, and emails.  Some members who were ardent Rep. Rouson supporters have told me they can no longer support him.  I have already counted more than enough "no confidence" votes for us to begin anew in naming a Leader-Designee. 

Rep. Rouson, I am again respectfully asking you to step aside for the betterment of our party.  We need to get our house in order.  We need to put this behind us as soon as possible.


David Richardson

The letter: 

September 7, 2013
Leader Perry Thurston
Leader-Designate Darryl Rouson
In light of recent events and for party unity, we are calling for Representative Rouson to resign his position as the Democratic Caucus Leader-Designee effective immediately.
In the event Representative Rouson is unwilling to resign his designation, we are calling upon Leader Thurston to organize a caucus member only meeting forMonday, September 23, or earlier to conduct a formal vote of “confidence.”  If this process results in a “no confidence” vote, we urge Leader Thurston to begin the process under existing caucus rules of selecting a new Leader-Designate with all due haste.
It is imperative that we are united, focused, and grow our numbers in 2014.
Representative _________________________             District _______________

[Last modified: Saturday, September 7, 2013 10:12pm]


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