On Thursday, the Florida Democratic Party hosted nearly a hundred Putnam County and North East Florida Democrats for a stop in Palatka on their Statewide Rural Tour.
The Florida Democrats launched the statewide rural tour in June, as part of the party’s “No GOP Seat is Safe” program– investing resources and speaking to voters in rural and swing counties. Florida Democrats have spent months recruiting Democrats to run for office in traditionally red counties and are working to lift up these candidates and speak to issues that matter to rural and small county Florida voters.
“Our strategy is focused on controlling the margins and getting out every vote we can, and that’s why we are putting a special focus on our rural communities,” said FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo. “Republicans in Tallahassee have destroyed Florida’s rural economies, defunded their public schools and made it more difficult for families living in rural areas to get access to quality affordable healthcare. The Florida Democratic Party and our Democratic candidates understand this and we are investing a great deal of time and resources to ensure rural voters know Democrats present a better path forward.”
The discussion and strategy session on Thursday focused on issues affecting people in Putnam County and surrounding rural areas, from health care, to water quality, jobs, and public school funding. Putnam County is one of 36 counties in Florida that is worse off today than they were after the recession.
“Palatka has experienced its fair share of difficulties, including a dying economy, under the nearly 20 years of Republican leadership,” said Rizzo. “What I saw tonight was a community that is ready, and working for the change they deserve.”
Traveling to these rural areas of Florida allows the party to lift up candidates running in areas that haven’t had Democratic candidates in decades.
“In getting ready for November, we are continuing our commitment to reach out to all voters and support Democratic candidates we have recruited across the state,” said FDP Chair Rizzo. “From the Panhandle to Southwest Florida, our efforts will further inform the residents of rural counties about the Democratic agenda, our candidates, and excite them about the upcoming elections.”
In the coming months the rural tour will visit Bay, Okaloosa, Walton, Washington, Franklin, Jackson, and Citrus Counties, among others.