Recent years have shown the all but moderate colors of Florida's political parties. Now, Florida Democrat lawmakers are jumping ship on moderate Democrats for more progressive candidates, and have coined the new phrase, "DINO."
The long knives are out over at the embattle Florida Democratic Party.
Very similar to how the Republican Party has, "RINOs," an acronym for, "Republican in Name Only," Democrats in Florida have begun to adopt the same culture by branding certain Democrats, "DINOs," sending the message that these Democrats are not really Liberal, or Liberal enough for Florida's Democrat party.
State Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby (D-FL) more or less coined the term when talking about her opponent, former State Rep. Wengay M. Newton Sr. (D-FL), after he allegedly received campaign help from Republicans. Rayner Tweeted about her opponent as follows, "Damn. The Republicans must be big mad to fund my DINO opponent. SMH." Adding, "The people of District 62 + Florida aren’t for sale."
While this seems to be the first known use of the term DINO as loosely as Republicans tend to throw around RINO, other Democrats began to echo the messaging. State Rep. Travaris McCurdy (D-FL) responded to the Tweet saying, "Florida Democrats need REAL Democrats in Tallahassee." McCurdy also cited his colleagues, Rep. Angie Nixon (D-FL) and Rayner-Goolsby as the "real Democrats," he was referring to.
Interestingly enough, the seemingly moderate, State Sen. Jason Pizzo (D-FL), also got in on the action. Not only did Sen. Pizzo endorse Ashley V. Gantt for state house, but he also trashed incumbent State Rep. James Bush (D-FL). Pizzo did not only claim that Bush, "is a shill for the Florida Republicans," but he also boldly asserted that Bush is, "kissing the Governor’s ass - all day, every day."
Florida “Democrat” James Bush is a shill for the Florida Republicans. Voting against Democratic values and kissing the Governor’s ass - all day, everyday.
Join me in letting politicians know that their actions have real consequences - donate to https://t.co/iIMBTBivTM
— Sen. Jason Pizzo (@senpizzo) July 27, 2022
What could be happening is a Democrat reaction to the death grip that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Republicans seem to have on the state of Florida. As Florida Republicans nears closer to a super majority in the state legislagture every election cycle, Democrats seem to believe they can no longer afford to sit idly by in Tallahassee.