Will House Democrats Stick Together In Final Weeks of Session?

As we enter the home stretch of the legislative session concerns are abound about the cohesion and discipline of the House Democratic Caucus. Cracks began appearing in February when a contentious leadership race ended with Rep. Daryl Rouson defeating Rep. Mia Jones by a single vote for Minority Leader Designee. Then in the early weeks of session Democrats sitting in marginal seats in addition to the uncontrollable conservative first-term Broward County Rep. Katie Edwards repeatedly bucked the party line. Edwards in particular has been defiant in explaining her votes often taking to social media to engage enraged activists.

Last week’s shameful vote by several Democrats on a symbolic measure related to guns was intended by the GOP majority as a slap in the face to not only Florida Democrats but also to the President if he even noticed. Even after loud and inappropriate cheers filled the House floor with such slogans as “Let Freedom Ring” following word of the US Senate’s disappointing rejection of the bi-partisan attempt to institute minimal background checks on guns, several Democrats sided with the Republicans. This spineless display by many Democrats showed a continued unwillingness of some to put the greater good over temporary self-preservation within the House.

But glimmers of hope showed late last week as the caucus stayed unified on several votes on abortion and Sharia Law (I have my own opinions on Sharia Law from my travels but will save that for another time) and appears to be coalescing on several other issues. Leader Perry Thurston (D-Plantation) unlike his predecessor Ron Saunders is a true progressive whose value system matches that of progressive leaders and activists throughout the state.

Thurston’s biggest test are upcoming. Typically in the last week frenzy of session deals are cut by individual Democratic Reps. to trade votes on critical issues for “take-home” legislation or some future political favor. My hope is that we see the cohesion of late last week continue through the end of session, allowing the Democrats to clearly differentiate themselves from the majority Republicans and the excesses associated with a continued reign based on arrogance and entitlement.

Disappointment in Speaker Will Weatherford may play a role also in keeping Democrats unified. The Speaker has proven not to be the type of bi-partisan bridge builder hoped for, and his newly found heavy-handed manners may solidify Democratic unity.


  1. Self interest always dominates thinking among Democrats sadly.


  2. Thurston may be decent on the issues but he has no leadership qualities. Don’t count on him keeping any type of unity.


  3. The Judge · ·

    don’t get your hopes up.

    the caucus will splinter as always.


  4. Blue Dog Dem · ·

    No chance. Many of our moderate to conservative Ds are not going to be forced into bad votes and futile talking points for a failed liberal leadership.


  5. Dems in Action · ·

    That’s why we need to get rid of the so called Democrats in south Florida and elect real Democrats with a spine. We must do all we can to elect a Democratic Governor.


    1. Barney (Not Bishop) · ·

      Those stupid people in SW Broward who voted for Katie Edwards got what they deserve-a nasty Rep who blocks anyone on Facebook that dares to criticize her.

      Louis Reinstein in 2014!


  6. KB is correct except that “self interest” is certainly not specific to the Democratic Party alone. Take a long look at many of the Republicans sitting in Tallahassee today. Some entered honestly broke, or close to it and today, many have no money worries at all. Just how does that happen for a position which pays hardly anything, and lasts only a few weeks?(thank God for that!) No, I believe everyone in Tallahassee, as well as Washington D.C. and most local offices have only one thought in their heads. What do I get out of this? You can bank on it. Worse yet is the people of Florida continue to fail at the majority of polls by voting for, and allowing the same old, same old politicians back to their offices. Isn’t it time for a clean out of Tallahassee, starting with Scott and replacing those currently in office in the Tallahassee Legislature?


  7. […] the Democratic caucus has created over the past two months. Earlier this week I speculated about the cohesion of the caucus on the upcoming session defining votes. The Democratic caucus remained completely […]


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