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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dems to huddle in Orlando for post-election critique



After a couple weeks of licking their wounds after Election Day, a group of Florida Democrats plan to meet in Orlando this weekend to see what they can do better in 2012. The informal meeting is being hosted by Jon Ausman, a Tallahassee state committeeman known for being an outspoken member of the party. “It’s about the direction of the state party,” he said. “A lot of people want to discuss things in a constructive, positive way.”

The party leaders should have plenty to talk about. Several strategists have noted that Democrats need to beef up their get-out-the-vote effort and focus more on South Florida to drive up turnout in voter-rich counties such as Broward and Dade.

The meeting comes as Democrats are selecting their next state party chairman, though Ausman specifically said that wouldn’t be a topic. Rod Smith, the running mate of Alex Sink who has his eye on the party chair job, agreed that the meeting is less about the chairman election and “more about larger structural issues.”

Smith, who is expected to take over an Alachua County post that would allow him to run for the state chairmanship, dismissed recent comments that his candidacy is stalling. He said he has a “very straightforward” process of calling local party officials in each county. “I’m very pleased with the reception I’m getting.”

[Last modified: Friday, November 19, 2010 10:36am]


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