Florida Democrats set date for final action on suspended county party chairs

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried set a date Monday for the party’s state committee to consider her suspensions of three Democratic county chairs.

The Democratic State Central Committee will meet, virtually, on March 24.

The date, which Fried set exactly one week after she suspended the county Democratic chairs in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Franklin counties, shows Fried doesn’t want uncertainty to linger over who will lead the county parties.

It also gives the suspended county party leaders little time to try to convince members of the central committee that their suspensions are unwarranted.

The committee has about 120 members, including chairs from the state’s 28 congressional districts, elected officials, Democrats appointed to the committee by Fried, and leaders of various caucuses in the party, such as senior, Hispanic and LGBTQ+ constituencies.

Fried has said she was acting to overcome problems in the three county parties, which are tasked with organizing efforts to help all the party’s candidates: registering voters, encouraging people to vote by mail, organizing get out the vote efforts.

Supporters of the county chairs in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, two of the most important Democratic territories in the state, said the suspensions were unwarranted. In Palm Beach County, allies of suspended Chair Mindy Koch said it was the result of efforts to undermine her by supporters of the candidate Koch defeated in the internal election for county chair in 2022.