Florida Democrats to elect new party chairman

Posted at 9:25 AM, Jan 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-25 05:36:12-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida Democrats will elect a new party chairman after one of its most successful election cycles in years.

Activists will meet in Lake Mary on Saturday to choose a replacement for former Sen. Rod Smith, who leaves after two years as chairman.

Democrats hope to build on a year in which President Barack Obama carried Florida, Sen. Bill Nelson easily won re-election and the party made gains in the state Legislature and Congress.

Alan Clendenin, a Hillsborough County Democratic committeeman, and Allison Tant, a longtime party fundraiser from Tallahassee, are vying for the chairmanship.

Among others, Tant is endorsement by Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Nelson, Florida's top Democratic elected official.

Clendenin's endorsements include Alex Sink, who was the party's nominee for governor in 2010.