House Democrat Cherfilus-McCormick Says Democrats Need a 'Come to Jesus Moment'

House Democrat Cherfilus-McCormick Says Democrats Need a 'Come to Jesus Moment'

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
February 10, 2023

In a recent interview with The Floridian, Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D) discussed the state of the Florida Democratic Party, even as state Democrats look to former state Senator Annette Taddeo, and possibly former Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, to possibly lead them.

"There really is an absence of leadership," she says, saying whatever leadership it currently has is "ineffective." Additionally, McCormick says Governor Ron DeSantis (R) gave the Republican Party a "burst of energy" that enabled their midterm victory.

Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick expresses that her party "hasn't embraced the generational shift." By this, she means relatively few candidates have been newcomers, because "some people are just not wanting to face that it's time for that shift."

More to the point, Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick paints a picture of Florida Democrats as rather stagnant.

"We keep picking from the same talent pool, the same group of friends, and with that, they're conditioned to do the same way, use the same consultants, the same people, the same talking points." Hence why she calls for "a burst of new energy who understands how we win."

While she acknowledges Democrats may not be able to outraise Republicans, the way to win moving forward is to "beat [them] at the doors," suggesting fresh-faced candidates can build new support from the ground up.

Cherfilus-McCormick credits Gov. DeSantis for energizing the Florida Republicans.

"We started seeing that DeSantis was having different types of meetings, and he was having these rallies, and people were getting there three hours just to stand there. Not people who were paid to stand there," she jokes, "but they were actually there to stand there, to hear him."

After all, "people saw him as new, fresh, and ambitious. They're going there."

"Have you identified that Florida Democratic leadership for the State party that has that energy? That people are just excited? Or are we just saying, 'okay, let's put this person, they're part of our clique,' you know," added Cherfilus-McCormick

McCormick concludes with a joke that "I don't think everybody's had a 'come to Jesus' moment when they realize that the only way we could win is that fresh new energy that can really bring it back together."

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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