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Scott Arceneaux out as Florida Democrats’ chief

in 2017/Top Headlines by

The first shoe has fallen in newly-elected chairman Stephen Bittel‘s reorganization of the Florida Democratic Party with executive director Scott Arceneaux on his way out. The party announced Tuesday that Arceneaux, who has served in that role through the tenures of three previous state party chairs, is stepping down, though not immediately. When Bittel won a resounding election Jan. 14, the tone that the Miami Beach developer established set the expectation that there would be a shake-up at the party, and he…

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Builders Stephen Bittel and Donald Trump have things in common

in Statewide by

Everyone in America knows the name of President Donald Trump. On the other hand, few are familiar with Stephen Bittel, even in his home state of Florida. As of noon on Friday, Donald Trump officially became the President of the United States. As of January 14, Bittel became the latest Chairman of the Florida Democratic Party. For all of the obvious differences of party affiliation, the two men have some things in common. Both are wealthy developers. Both are known…

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Stephen Bittel for Florida Democrats, what do you have to lose?

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Over the weekend, Florida Democrats elected Miami rich guy Stephen Bittel to lead their party. The choice was controversial and left many members screaming that Bittel is the wrong man at the wrong time. They have their reasons, I guess. But, let me ask a simple question:  Whom would be the right person? The political cosmos has been trying to send a message for years to Florida Democrats. They haven’t been listening. They have lost five consecutive races for governor…

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Tale of 2 parties: Florida GOP high, Dems low ahead of 2018

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The state Republican and Democratic parties met two miles from each other Saturday, their first meetings since Donald Trump carried Florida in November’s election, but the atmosphere and enthusiasm were worlds apart. As both parties chose their leaders, it was easy to see which has more confidence heading into an election cycle when the governor’s office and all three Cabinet seats will be open. Republicans were aglow in victory after Trump stunned many political observers by winning the state Barack…

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Stephen Bittel promises rapid growth as new Florida Democratic Party chief

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Newly-elected Florida Democratic Party Chair Stephen Bittel isn’t the kind of guy who shies away from a fight. And judging by his resounding victory Saturday, after a nasty campaign against four other candidates for the Party leadership, he doesn’t fight to lose. “Contentious elections are reflective that there are Democrats all over Florida that are passionate, committed to coming together, moving forward together to win elections. So contentious is good. It means you care,” Bittel said after defeating some candidates with much longer-…

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Florida Democrats tab wealthy developer Stephen Bittel to lead party

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Despite challenges from leading, longtime Democrat activists from Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville and Kissimmee, wealthy South Florida developer and party fundraiser Stephen Bittel was elected chairman Saturday of the Florida Democratic Party. Bittel won on the first ballot, winning 55 percent of the weighted votes against Alan Clendenin, Dwight Bullard, Lisa King and Leah Carius, quickly ending weeks of wheelings and dealings, charges and counter charges. There remains a lawsuit in Miami-Dade challenging Bittel’s candidacy qualification. Bittel, who runs several companies in…

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Alan Clendenin wins appeal to seek Democrats’ state chair

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Longtime Florida Democratic leader Alan Clendenin is back in the running for the party’s state chairmanship after winning an overwhelming vote to reject a committee’s ruling from Friday night that had disqualified him. Clendenin’s candidacy for the state chair was restored after he made a “you know me” speech Saturday morning to the Florida Democratic Party executive committee, to toss the Friday ruling by the party’s Judicial Council, which had ruled him ineligible. “What happened yesterday had very little to…

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