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Florida Democrats Take Action To Get Three Local Parties Back on Track

Today, the Florida Democratic Party suspended three local party chairs in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Franklin counties, and issued the following statement:

“The actions taken today are part of an overall strategy to get our local parties back on track,” said FDP Chair Nikki Fried following the suspension of Robert Dempster, Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chair, Mindy Koch, Palm Beach Democratic Party Chair and Carol Barfield, Franklin Democratic Party Chair.  

“Over the past year, the Florida Democratic Party has made repeated attempts to mitigate complaints received prior to my election as Chair and support the leaders of Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Franklin Democratic Executive Committees (DECs). One of my first actions as Chair was the launch of an assessment team to evaluate issues, review plans and provide guidance to parties identified as noncompliant. 

“Due to ongoing and unresolved issues, and failure to comply with the rules that govern all local parties, the Florida Democratic Party has made the decision to suspend the Chairs of the Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Franklin DECs and rebuild in 2024 — because the cost of inaction is too high. 

“Candidates and elected officials rely on their local democratic parties to register voters, mobilize volunteers and engage donors to support their efforts — and they are impacted the most when they are not working effectively.  

“The success of Florida Democrats depends on the success of our local parties on the ground, and the majority of our DECs are working tirelessly to organize year-round across the state. There is too much at stake to ignore the challenges before us and we need all of our local parties engaged in our mission to take back Florida. 

“Florida Democrats are serious about creating the infrastructure and party apparatus we need to take back our state, restore our rights and freedoms and re-elect Democrats all the way up the ticket. The country is counting on us.”


Is the suspension effective immediately?

Suspension is effective immediately. Removal is a 3-step process, which involves: 

– Compliance Notice (issued February 2024) 
– Suspension by Chair, Florida Democratic Party (March 4, 2024)
– The Central Committee must vote to confirm the suspension by a two thirds vote to remove the chair from office.

Who is on the Central Committee?

There are approximately 120 members on the Central Committee, composed of congressional district committee chairs, elected officials, caucus leaders and appointed members. 

When is the Central Committee expected to vote on the suspensions?

The Central Committee will take up the vote to confirm the suspension or reinstate at its next meeting, which has not yet been scheduled.

Is there an interim Chair?

Yes, effective at the time of a chair’s suspension, the First Vice Chair becomes Chair. 

Has the Party identified a replacement? 

The Central Committee will vote to remove the suspended chair or reinstate at its next meeting. If the chair is removed, the affected DEC will have 45 days to elect a chair. 

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