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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hispanic lawmaker worries 'disastrous' election means Florida Democrats in reverse



Check out this tough letter to Karen Thurman, the likely outgoing chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, from her former vice chairman, state Rep. Luis Garcia of Miami Beach. Garcia, by the way, was among the handful of Democratic officeholders who supported Gov. Charlie Crist for the U.S. Senate over Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek.

The 2010 election cycle will be remembered as a disastrous year for Florida Democrats. The gains we made in the Florida House were washed away and the little influence we had in the Florida Senate evaporated. And we lost every statewide race on the ballot. I share this because I believe we find ourselves at a crossroad. In 2006 and 2008, the Florida Democratic Party made significant inroads with the Hispanic community. However, this gain disappeared in 2010 when Republicans won the Hispanic vote for the first time in six years. This concerns me greatly because the future of our Party rests with our ability to win over Florida's Hispanic communities; especially the Cuban-American community in South Florida.



There are several lessons to be learned from this election cycle and a new course must be charted for our Party if we want to turn things around. It is perfectly apparent to any political layperson that the current Florida Democratic Party is out of touch with the voting electorate. I believe a change is needed! The first step should be the leadership at the top. Bringing fresh ideas and more importantly, the transformation that must occur should be inclusive and representative of the constituents we represent. I believe in my heart that we must turn things around because we are the only Party who believes in advancing an agenda that puts everyday Floridians and working families first.

But in order to move that agenda forward, we must get our house in order. I respect your hard work and dedication to the Florida Democratic Party and hope you can see the need for us to rebuild with new perspectives and fresh faces. This is the only way we will build a sustainable Florida Democratic Party; one that works to inspire new opportunities for Floridians and works for a better and stronger Florida for generations to come.

-- Beth Reinhard, Miami Herald

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 9:20pm]


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