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Nikki Fried promises to 'stop the bleeding' for Florida's Democratic Party

Nikki Fried speaking on Zoom
Screen grab from Zoom
Nikki Fried addresses Longboat Key Democrats

Florida's Democratic Party had it's worst-ever showing during November's elections. The new head of the state party says she's working on a plan to reconnect with potential voters.

Florida's Democrats are reeling like never before. The party took a historic shellacking in the last elections, leaving not one statewide elected Democrat. So the party has decided to shake things up a bit, and selected former Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried as the party's chair.

Fried outlined her plans to the Longboat Key Democratic Club.

"November was the worst potential outcome that we have ever had as Florida Democrats," she said during a Zoom meeting. "And it is my goal to make sure that that election is an outlier, stays an outlier and we stop the bleeding."

Fried says the first thing she'll tackle is having the party once again do year-round door-to-door canvassing of both Democrats and independent voters. And she plans to beef up the party's lines of communication with potential voters.

"So we have got to do a better job making sure that we are in the communities, that we are talking to our voters, that we are talking to our potential voters," she said. "And we're making the case year-round. Not just right before an election."

Fried said there's little internal support for both fundraising and communicating through social media.

"We've lost the faith of the people of our state to be responding to their needs," she said. "There is a disconnect in what we stand for and what they stand for and making sure that it is jelling."

She has appointed a new full-time finance director to help get a consistent flow of money from both Floridians and interested Democrats around the country.

"We are working very, very hard to show the people of our state and the nation that this is a new day, that this is a new dawn for the Democratic Party," Fried said. "We're going to organize differently. We are bringing voter registration back in-house."

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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