After A Big Week For Democrats, Florida Party Members Look For A Way Forward

Jul 29, 2016

News about leaked Democratic National Committee emails came just before the party’s convention. The emails included messages from party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz showing favoritism for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Congress woman agreed to step down from her position as party chair, but hoped to help unite her home state behind the party’s candidate. She attended a Florida delegate breakfast at the convention Monday.

“It is so wonderful to be able to here with my home state. Alright everybody now, settle down,” Wasserman Schultz said among boos from the crowd.

Despite the jeers Wasserman Schultz continued, reminding Florida voters of the role they played in helping to get President Barak Obama elected. Sanders supporters can be heard in the background yelling “shame” as Wasserman Schultz goes on to say she wants to continue serving Floridians.

She has resigned as DNC chair and is now facing a tough re-election fight at home. Her opponent Democrat Tim Canova is backed by Bernie Sanders. He sees the unrest as a potential opening.

“It certainly seems like sentiment, public opinion has shifted quite dramatically,” Canova said.

Meanwhile, leaders in the Democratic Party are working to redirect the focus. FBI officials have said it is likely Russia is behind the DNC’s leaked emails.  And the Democratic Congressional Committee says it has been hacked too. Some Democrats have said that’s because Russia is backing Donald Trump for President. U.S. Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, of Florida, says he believes it’s possible the country’s President Vladimir Putin is behind the leak.

“Former KGB. He loves to get in and disrupt. So of course he could,” Nelson said.

And Nelson says that could pose a threat the U.S. may need to answer. But Nelson maintains he doesn’t anticipate the leak will have much of an impact on the election’s outcome.

“It may have worked in the sense that it showed that people have opinions in the DNC. But beyond that. It’s not going to affect the outcome of the election,” Nelson said.

Meanwhile, Sanders is urging unity. He paid a surprise visit to Florida delegates the day after Wasserman Shultz gave her speech.

“Now whether you supported me or you supported Hillary Clinton you all know what our task is. And that is to make sure Donald Trump is not elected President of the United States," Sanders said.

Sanders told the group of Floridians “Republicans don’t win elections. Democrats lose them.”