Democrats elect Manny Diaz as new party chairman

Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz has been elected the new chair of the Florida Democratic Party.

Diaz, who ran a high-profile, fully-staffed campaign and rounded up scores of endorsements from elected Democrats and others, won on the first ballot Saturday afternoon, with 54% of the votes, in the Democrats’ complex system of distributing votes based on the populations of counties.

Hillsborough County Democratic Chair Ione Townsend finished as runner-up, with 30% of the vote. Alachua County Democratic Chair Cynthia Moore Chestnut  received 17%.

The Florida Democratic Party held their organizational meeting virtually over Zoom.

“Now fellow Democrats, our real work begins. It will not be easy. I pledge to all listening that from this moment forward, I will spend every moment for these next four years working tirelessly together with all of you to focus on our greatest and most important priority, to elect Democrats to office up and and down our state and improve the lives of all Floridians,” Diaz said in accepting the office.

Diaz’s candidacy and his overwhelming campaign had drawn some sharp criticisms from within the party, from certain members who were concerned about his record as Mayor, about his brief

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