The Florida Democratic Party announced Friday it is expanding its staff once again ahead of the critical 2018 midterm elections. The party is continuing to increase field operations to reach voters across the state, hiring a new coordinated director, field director, and plans to hire dozens of organizers ahead of the August primary.
“It’s going to take a committed, experienced, and motivated staff of Democrats to help us take back Florida after nearly 20-year of Republican rule – and we are building a team who is ready to do just that,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo.
“We are continuing to implement a 67-county strategy, engaging people in every corner of Florida who are tired of decades of failed Republican policies. We are talking to voters about expanding Medicaid, investing in our public schools, creating economic opportunities for everyone, and putting an end to gun violence. Floridians are ready for change and we are offering it.”
Coordinated Campaign Director
Originally from the Midwest, Steve came to Florida in 2012 as a part of President Obama’s re-election campaign. Steve has worked on local, state, and national campaigns in Florida and several other states. He was most recently Campaign Manager for Jose Javier Rodriguez for Congress.
Statewide Field Director
Amir began his career in politics in Alachua County, working on local campaigns during his time as a student at the University of Florida. After managing a successful mayoral campaign in conjunction with the FDP’s Municipal Victory Project, Amir went on to serve as Organizing Director and Deputy Campaign Manager for Joe Garcia’s 2016 Congressional Campaign. Since then Amir has served as Deputy Communications Director for the Florida Democratic Party and, most recently, as Campaign Manager for a competitive Florida Congressional Campaign.
Finance Operations Director
Lisa brings an extensive background in building long-term sustainable fundraising programs. Most recently, she created and managed part of AIPAC’s national development program from their Washington, D.C. headquarters. Lisa is a proud UCLA Bruin and a yoga teacher with particular interest in teaching military vets with PTSD and other service-related injuries.
Ali Akin Kurnaz
A strategist at the intersection of digital organizing and movement-building, Ali has been instrumental to several government offices, nonprofit organizations, and causes. He was formerly Communications Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida (CAIR Florida), Communications Director at Florida Young Democrats, Deputy Campaign Manager for Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith, and Legislative Aide to Senator Linda Stewart.
Sierra is a native Floridian, born and raised in Tampa, FL. She graduated from Florida A & M University with a bachelor’s in political science and a Juris Doctorate degree. She worked as a field organizer during the 2016 election and comes to the party after working as a substitute teacher in Hillsborough County public schools.
Community Engagement Director Region 2
Elena McCullough is from the Dominican Republic. She served in the United States Coast Guard for 24 years, retiring as LT. BS Psychology. She ran for the Florida House in 2010, served as a surrogate for President Obama in his 2012 campaign and has worked for Democratic candidates throughout Florida since 2008.
Community Engagement Director Region 8
As a longtime resident of Southwest Florida, Jami grew up in Minnesota and now resides in North Fort Myers. Through her involvement in numerous campaigns, she discovered her passion for voter engagement and community organizing. Jami is thrilled to be working to turn Southwest Florida blue!
Deputy Data & Analytics Director
Adi joins the Florida Democratic Party as Deputy Data Director after two cycles as a field organizer: for Hillary Clinton and the Nevada Democratic Coordinated Campaign in 2016, and then the Virginia Democratic Coordinated Campaign in 2017.