The Florida Democrat Party and the Leon County Democrat Party are at odds over the upcoming election for Mayor of Tallahassee.
On October 26th, the Florida State Democrat Chairman Manny Diaz announced his endorsement of Mayor Candidate John Dailey along with several other endorsements in local elections throughout the State. Although this is a non-partisan election, both John Dailey and his opponent, Kristin Dozier are Democrats.
Diaz’s announcement, made on Twitter, sparked an angry outburst from Leon County Democrat officials. On Thursday, Dozier, who bested Dailey in the August primary, expressed her dissatisfaction with the endorsement, “It was shocking to see the state party Chair take sides in a non-partisan race between two Democrats. We can do better,” Dozier stated.
Leon County Democrat Party Secretary, Steve Broadway, also condemned Diaz’s endorsement, “not only is it highly irregular, but it is the pinnacle of anti-democratic behavior.” Broadway said, “It is beyond the scope and appropriateness for the chair to issue such an endorsement.”
Tallahassee City Commissioner, Jerry Matlow, also replied to the tweet, “Wow. @Manny_A_Diaz sides with the Republican Party campaigning against Kristin Dozier.” “can you be more out of touch with Tallahassee?”
Diaz is a former mayor of Miami.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the Leon County Democrat Executive Committee members were not consulted prior to Diaz’s endorsement of Daily, and they do not endorse the mayor in his re-election bid.
Two days later, the Leon County Democrat Steering Committee called an emergency meeting and abruptly released a statement endorsing Kristin Dozier, stating “we trust in Kristin Dozier’s independence. She votes without excessive regard to the wishes of big developers and other insiders,” the local party wrote in its endorsement.