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Longboat Democratic club talks election strategy, party unity

Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried discussed plans to reenergize party voters and candidates.

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  • | 1:30 p.m. May 16, 2023
Nikki Fried speaks to the Longboat Key Democratic Club in January of 2022.
Nikki Fried speaks to the Longboat Key Democratic Club in January of 2022.
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After a disappointing 2022 election season, the Longboat Key Democratic Club looks to new Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried to help rally support and align their goals. The club held a Zoom meeting on May 9 with Fried as the guest speaker. 

“November was the worst potential outcome that we have ever had as Florida Democrats,” Fried said. “It is my goal to make sure that that election is an outlier and stays an outlier, and we stop the bleeding.”

Fried outlined some of her plans to keep Republicans from dominating elections again.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” she told the over 100 virtual meeting attendees. 

When going over her plans for the party, she separated her goals into three categories. The first being communication internally and externally. She said that more needs to be done to “support” and “lift each other up” within the party. 

“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 gelling.” 

The second category she discussed was the party’s funding and the need to not only pursue state and federal dollars, but also smaller donations from individuals looking to support the party. 

The third category is focusing on the structure of the party. For the first time, she said, a leadership council was created to meet monthly.

“Once a month, we are getting together to go through what’s on people’s minds, what is happening on the ground, making sure that we are listening to each other,” she said. 

She added there is a need to get the younger generation involved as they continue to show intense passion for their ideals. A youth council was created of about 35 high school and college students already involved in Democratic clubs at their schools. 

“We are working very hard to show the people of this state and the nation that this is a new day,” she said. “This is a new dawn for the Democratic Party. We’re going to organize differently. We’re bringing voter registration back in house … I’m making everybody laser focused.”

Following her opening remarks on how she intends to reunite the party and lead it toward success in future elections, she was given questions from the virtual meeting’s chat including strategies for enticing candidates to run for office and to get voters out to the polls. 

As 2024 elections near, and in hopes of not repeating the results of 2022 elections, Fried is seeking greater outreach to not only known members of the party, but also to the general public. 

“We have got to do a better job of 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. “We’re making the case year-round. Not just right before an election.”

One of the first things she is planning to tackle is the return of year-round, door-to-door canvassing of registered Democratic voters and independent voters. 

“The work of the party is to help our candidates, and we have gotten away from that,” she said. “Now, it is incumbent upon us to get back to the boots-on-the-ground, so when the campaigns are up and running, they are just having to worry about turning out (no party affiliation voters). We are back to turning out the Democrats.”


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