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Florida Democrats need more local candidates to seek office. Could this help?

It’s called ‘Campaign Blueprint’ and it’s the latest piece of the party’s rebuild
Former Gubernatorial Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum, left, and Rep. Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa looks on while Terrie Rizzo, the State Chair of the Florida Democratic Party speaks during the Florida Democratic Party and Forward Florida Action Partnership to register voters in Florida held at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, May 16, 2019. [JONES, OCTAVIO | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Sep. 16

Florida Democrats have recognized that they need a stronger bench of local leaders to compete in future elections. Step one is encouraging more candidates to run for office. Step two is giving them tools to win.

State party leaders say that second piece of the puzzle is finally in place. The party today unveiled “Campaign Blueprint,” a digital tool chest for new candidates to run for office.

Campaign Blueprint includes training videos, a plan generator and campaign materials. It covers topics like how to structure a campaign, setting fundraising targets, budgeting a campaigning and working with media.

“When more Democrats run in the Sunshine State, more Democrats win," Florida Democratic Party chairwoman Terrie Rizzo said. “Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in municipal races.”

The Campaign Blueprint is the latest effort by the state Democratic Party to rebuild itself into a modern apparatus after years of languishing behind by the Republican Party of Florida. Democrats hired Lisa Peth in April as the party’s first director of its municipal victory program as it continues to reorganize following 2018′s narrow but devastating defeats.

The Democratic Party of Florida has also hired and trained dozens of staff to help organize ahead of 2020, many of them Spanish and Creole speakers. It has pledged to spend $2 million to register 200,000 Democrats by March 2020.

Florida Republicans almost always hold a fundraising advantage over their Democratic counterparts. So having a sophisticated blueprint for local candidates to run could help minimize the party’s financial handicap.

Peth said the campaign plan “allows campaigns to maximize scarce resources to meet specific campaign goals.”

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