U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, which brought in President Barack Obama to raise money Wednesday night in Miami Beach.
Florida Democrats have their big fundraising dinner Saturday night in Hollywood.
Here are three political questions for Wasserman Schultz:
Why is it the Democrats in Florida have such a tough time winning statewide elections?
“Well, I think that we’re going to have a very good opportunity to win some statewide elections. We’ve got an incredible state chair. This weekend’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner is going to be record-breaking when it comes to the fundraising success that [new state Democratic Chairwoman] Allison Tant has had. We have a leadership team in place that is going to do a fantastic job. We have a governor who is one of if not the most unpopular governor in the country, and so I think we’ve got a lot of statewide races in 2014 that we have an opportunity to win.”
But why has it been so difficult in recent, off-year statewide elections?
“You can’t make a generalization about a party’s or a candidate’s success in a statewide election, because every race is different. It depends on whether a candidate who is a viable candidate statewide who had the resources to run a statewide campaign, which is extremely expensive, and tough to organize, in Florida. The resources of the two parties have been very lopsided. There’s 11 media markets in Florida. It costs millions of dollars and you have to have a candidate strong enough able to wage a statewide campaign like that.
“So we’ve clearly been at a deficit in terms of the Legislature and the gerrymandering. At the same time, we’ve won the most important statewide election, two cycles in a row, with the president of the United States. So we’re getting better organized and moving the state party into the next generation, recruiting the next generation of leaders, and I think as a result we’re going to see a lot more statewide success for Florida.”
Some people seem to think President Obama likes [former] Governor Crist. You’re an Obama person, so you would favor Governor Crist. And there is some thinking you would push Chairwoman Tant to be supportive of Governor Crist?
“We’re the Democratic Party and we don’t take positions in Democratic primaries. So nothing could be further from the truth. We do not have a preference in who the nominee is for the Democratic Party.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun