Report: Florida Democrats Struggle to Find Congressional Candidates

Supporters hold signs for Republican candidates in front of polling precinct for the Florida Primary on March 15, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Voters began going to the polls Tuesday in five make-or-break presidential nominating contests, with Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton seeking to tighten their grip as their …
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Democrats are struggling to find candidates willing to run for Congress in Florida, as the August primary is only months away, according to a report.

“Democrats have little clue whose names they’ll be marking on their ballots for two of South Florida’s most competitive congressional races,” according to a report from the Miami Herald.

While the Florida Democrat Party declined to comment on their recruitment attempts to the Herald, the report noted that there had been little evidence that showed the Democrats have anyone lined up to run against Republicans in Florida’s Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Congressional Districts after two first-time candidates dropped out.

However, while the state is still going through a once-in-a-decade redistricting process, there reportedly has not been a Democrat to register a campaign committee in either one of the districts.

“At the end of the day, redistricting years present clear challenges for recruiting,” Christian Ulvert, a Miami-based Democrat consultant, told the Herald. “But that shouldn’t be an excuse that, during an election-year cycle, we don’t have clear candidates.”

Additionally, while some of the party’s leaders in the state have reportedly “pointed to redistricting as the cause” of not finding candidates, some Democrats believe the party leaders are hoping that former members of Congress will run for the seats.

“At this point now, and really since November, we’ve had [map] drafts from both chambers to give an idea…Any argument that it’s about waiting for the new lines, I think, rings a little hollow,” said Matt Isbell, a redistricting expert working with the Democrat-aligned People Over Profits, to the Herald.

The Herald explained the Republican advantages:

The slow pace of Democratic recruitment offers an additional boost to the Republican incumbents in a year where the national political environment is already expected to favor the GOP. The trend could prove even more acute in South Florida, where Democrats suffered blistering defeats in both federal and state races in 2020.

First, there are the low expectations for Democrats nationally. The incumbent president’s party traditionally loses seats in the midterm election, which means most of the national party’s resources will go toward defending seats in other states rather than flipping GOP-held seats in a state that’s trended toward Republicans in recent years.

“If they have somebody in mind but they just haven’t announced yet for whatever reason, that’s one thing. If there’s no candidate because the national committees haven’t found a candidate yet, you’re getting close to the point of surrender,” explained Alex Conant, a Washington-based Republican consultant.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.

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