Allison Tant, a Democratic fundraiser and ally of Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was elected chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party on Saturday, according to The Associated Press.
She topped state Committeeman Alan Clendenin in a 587-507 vote, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Tant had the backing of the state’s political establishment, including the Democratic National Committee chairwoman. Soon after news of the vote broke, Wasserman Schultz issued a statement congratulating Tant and Clendenin, who was elected party vice chairman.
“Our leadership is comprised of dedicated Florida Democrats who will build on our victories in 2012 and help take the Florida Democratic Party to the next level,” she said. “United, the Florida Democratic Party has both the grassroots engagement and the resources needed to move Florida forward.”
Tant laid out her top priority for her tenure: defeating Republican Gov. Rick Scott in 2014.
Establishment Dominates in Arizona
In other state party news, Arizona’s two parties selected their leaders over the weekend.
The GOP state chairman race was hardly close: Phoenix businessman Robert Graham won in a landslide. The Arizona Daily Star reported that he defeated his rival, grass-roots activist and Scottsdale businessman Doug Little, by almost 600 votes.
Graham won because of organizational and fundraising advantages.
“The Republican Party is unhealthy right now,” Graham told the Arizona Republic. “Clearly, what the objective is, is to make the party relevant in the state of Arizona. We’ve got a well-defined platform, and for whatever reason, we’ve lost our voice. The goal is to take all the parts of the party that have worked well ... and make the party great again.”
Republicans won the competitive Senate race between now-Sen. Jeff Flake and former Surgeon General Richard Carmona. But it was closer than many expected, and the Democrats swept the state’s three competitive House districts.
State Democratic Chairman Bill Roe was re-elected without opposition, according to the Arizona Republic. Roe missed the vote and is temporarily sidelined because of heart surgery. First Vice Chairman Alexis Tameron will run the party in his absence.
Tameron was the campaign manager for the Carmona 2012 Senate campaign and was a staffer to ex-Rep. Harry E. Mitchell.
Pushing the Limits
Donehue Direct, a South Carolina “political tech firm,” announced last week that it will now be known as Push Digital.
“Too many people think data is boring and it isn’t sexy, but we all saw firsthand the results of a data-driven campaign this year in the presidential race,” the firm’s founder and CEO, Wesley Donehue, said in a press release. “Our goal, quite simply, is to be second to none when it comes to data, and that’s something that will mean big dividends to our clients in terms of their ability to target their message and raise cash.”
The objective, according to Senior Vice President Joel Sawyer, is to “integrate” all branches of technology and avoid a “silo” effect within campaigns.
Push is based in Columbia, S.C.
DeRose in Bloom
Arizona-based Republican consultant Chris DeRose has a new book out about President Abraham Lincoln’s single term in Congress. The book, “Congressman Lincoln: The Making of America’s Greatest President,” is DeRose’s follow-up to his 2011 book on Presidents James Madison and James Monroe.
On the Grid
Republican operative Sara Diaz is joining Campaign Grid’s public affairs division. Diaz was a strategist at Disruptor Capital, where she worked closely with the Romney Virginia Victory campaign. She began her career in the office of then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas.
Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., named political operative Matt Chisholm as his new communications director. Chisholm previously worked as a political consultant on state and federal campaigns for Strategic National. His experience includes Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s successful 2010 campaign.
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