Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has forged the most significant cultural shift in recent years with his very conservative policies as governor of Florida. However, his term ends in just two years, leaving Republicans without a leader. State Senator Jason Pizzo (D) thinks this could be an opportune moment for Democrats to seize back control of Florida politics.
After Gov. DeSantis' State of the State Address, The Floridian sat down with Senator Pizzo to discuss the near future of the Florida Democratic Party with DeSantis gone. Sen. Pizzo stated, "I don't know if [Democrats] are bouncing back, in 20 plus years we haven't had the majority in the legislature, 26 years we haven't had the cabinet."
Republicans often tout recent data that has shown the GOP surpassing Democrats in voter registration, with the gap only widening. Pizzo seemed unmoved by this.
"I'm not so concerned about even the voter registration totals to a large extent. The Republicans now brag that they have this huge margin of voters, at… pic.twitter.com/lMEaCWWQ96
— The Floridian (@Floridianpress) January 10, 2024
"I'm not so concerned about even the voter registration totals to a large extent. The Republicans now brag that they have this huge margin of voters, at the same time I don't think their policies resonate well. However, 15 years ago when the Democrats were plus 400,000 or 500,000, we didn't win the gubernatorial race either," he added. "We have not performed in a generation," and cited the last time Democrats won a gubernatorial election in November of 1994.
However, Pizzo knows why Democrats have not experienced gains for decades in Florida, which he pins on messaging.
"We've taken a position by default for so long in Florida about fighting back, pushing back, trying to kill a bad bill, but what are we proposing? What are we asking for?"
Last year, Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried (D-FL) kicked off the "Take Back FL" tour, where Democrats traveled throughout Florida communities and allocated $1 million towards increasing voter registrations.
While Senator Pizzo may not be concerned about this statistic, it is surely a mountain that Florida Democrats wish to scale.