Florida Democratic Party Gears Up for 2020 with New Hires and a Robust Statewide Organizing Team
A year out from the 2020 presidential primary, the Florida Democratic Party is laying the groundwork to take back the White House and elect Democrats up and down the ballot.
Under the leadership of Chair Terrie Rizzo, the Florida Democratic Party is growing its data, field, finance, and communications teams and expanding its offices across the state. The new hires include Christina Diamond, a veteran of Florida politics and statewide campaigns, a new data director, a Hispanic press secretary, a statewide press secretary, and community engagement directors to organize communities across Florida.
"Florida is ground zero for the 2020 presidential race, and that's why the Florida Democrats are starting early to turn our state blue and put a Democrat in the White House," said Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo. "We're taking nothing for granted and are going to organize in every corner of our state. By investing early in field, data, and messaging, we are laying the groundwork for Democratic victories in 2020 — from county commission races to the White House."
Additional planned new hires include eight regional organizers, a statewide training director, a municipal victory program director, and a voter protection director. On Wednesday, the Florida Democratic Party also announced a $2 million investment in voter registration and earlier this month launched the Florida Organizing Corps, a paid internship that will train over 200 college juniors.
The FDP's new hires and promotions include:
Christina Diamond — Senior Advisor
Diamond joins the Florida Democratic Party as a senior advisor and has also served as the party's finance director under Congresswoman Karen Thurman. She had previously served as Florida finance director for Florida Senator Bill Nelson and was the Central Florida finance director for Jim Davis' gubernatorial campaign.
Will Zigler — Data Director
Zigler specializes in political data and first worked in Florida in 2012 when he was part of President Barack Obama's reelection campaign. Zigler served as data director for the Texas Democratic Party for 2014 and in 2018 served in that role for the Missouri Democratic Party.
Taehan Lee — Deputy Director of Data and Reporting
Lee joins the Florida Democratic Party after serving as the data and analytics director for Gery Chico's campaign for mayor of Chicago. Lee worked for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as part of their recount data team in Florida and was part of the Missouri Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign in 2018. Lee has also worked as a foreign policy legislative assistant in the South Korean parliament for Assembly Member Lee In Young.
Catherine Theriault — Deputy Director of Analytics
Theriault is returning to the Florida Democratic Party, having worked at the party as a field organizer in 2014 and is driven by her passion for data-driven campaigns. During the 2018 cycle, Theriault was an organizer in Broward county for NextGen America and served as the finance director for Lori Berman's state senate campaign. For the 2016 cycle, Theriault served as deputy field director for State Senator Jeff Clemens. She holds a masters in political science from Florida Atlantic University.
Chrisney Frederick — VAN Administrator
Frederick served as a Florida Democratic Party field organizer for the 2018 cycle. In 2016, Frederick was a part of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in Florida. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of North Florida, Jacksonville, and served as a for survey developer and interviewer for the university's Public Opinion Research Lab.
Ella K. Coffee — Community Engagement Director for Tampa Bay
Coffee was a Tampa City Council candidate for the 2019 cycle. Coffee served as an education, recruitment and training specialist for the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections and prior to that served as the supervisor's African-American liaison outreach assistant. She has also been a political consultant working on campaigns for Florida state house races and Tampa mayoral campaigns.
Harrison Angelis — Community Engagement Director for Central Florida
Angelis served as a field organizer for the Florida Democratic Party in Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy's successful re-election campaign in 2018 and was a fellow for the party in 2016. Between the 2016 and 2018 election cycles he served as a staff assistant for Congressman Val Demings in her district office. Angelis is a 2016 graduate of Stetson University.
Alex Berrios — Community Engagement Director for Martin, Indian River, Palm Beach and St. Lucie Counties
Berrios is returning to the Florida Democratic Party after serving as a field organizer in 2018 and was a recount site lead after the election. He is the founder of the Palm Beach County Youth Foundation and is a business owner, being the owner of Tactical Boxing and Fitness since 2005.
Luisana Pérez Fernández — Hispanic Press Secretary
Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Perez Fernández attended the Universidad Central de Venezuela and the Institute Seni of Indonesia. Her professional background includes District Director for State Senator José Javier Rodríguez, Hispanic Press Secretary for the Bill Nelson for US Senate Campaign, and communications intern for the UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean. She has also been involved in working with immigrants' rights organizations in the United States as a volunteer and organizer.
Alex Morash — Statewide Press Secretary
Morash left being the spokesperson and media director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, the oldest national LGBTQ advocacy organization in the United States, to join the Florida Democrats. Prior to joining the Task Force, he was the economic policy researcher for Media Matters for America and has bylines in The Advocate Magazine, The Washington Blade, Salon, and AlterNet. He holds a masters in political science from Northeastern University and is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Devon Murphy-Anderson — Deputy Finance Director South Florida
Murphy-Anderson graduated from Guilford College in North Carolina with degrees in Women's Studies, Religious Studies, and Economics. Most recently, Murphy-Anderson was the Finance Director for Liuba Grechen Shirley's campaign for Congress in NY-02 against entrenched Republican incumbent Peter King.
Sam Cook — Assistant to the Executive Office
Born and raised in North Carolina, Cook came to Florida in mid-2017 to join the 2018 election cycle. Cook worked on campaigns across the state as part of a consulting firm, including the campaign of Lori Alhadeff, mother of a Parkland shooting victim and a member of Broward County School Board for district 4. After working on campaigns around the state, Cook joined the FDP to stay involved in Florida.
Lauren Calmet Promoted to Political Director
Lauren Calmet has been promoted to Political Director after joining FDP as Deputy Political Director in 2017. She previously served as the Director of Community Affairs for the Florida Coalition for Children where she was recognized for her advocacy by the Tallahassee Democrat, the Girl Scout Council, and the Children's Home Society. Calmet has served in leadership positions with the Florida Young Democrats, the New Leaders Council and as a Guardian Ad Litem.
Rachel Berger Promoted to Director of Party Affairs
Berger is from Pasco County and graduated from Florida State University. While completing her degree in Tallahassee, Berger joined the Florida Democratic Party as a student intern in 2015. After working with the data team through the 2016 cycle, Berger joined the Party Affairs department in 2017.
Kevin Donohoe Promoted to Senior Communications Advisor/Chief Spokesperson
Donohoe will serve as the Florida Democratic Party senior communications and chief spokesperson. Donohoe will be focused on the legislative session and based in Tallahassee. Donohoe previously served as the Party's gubernatorial race spokesperson during the 2018 cycle and was the Virginia Democratic Coordinated Campaign's communications director in 2017.