Desperate Florida Democrats Post Billboards Begging for Candidates to Run for Office 

planet5D LLC /
planet5D LLC /

If you need proof that Florida is truly finished with the Democrat Party, look no further than the side of the road. In four counties across Florida, Democrats have erected billboards pleading for commuters to run for office in November. 

The ads were placed because, per the Florida Division of Elections, there were 37 state House seats without any Democratic candidate. Only 27 are targeted by the ads because, according to a Democratic spokesperson, the other ten have potential candidates who are expected to file for the seats. The state Senate race has four seats without a Democratic challenger. 

While several districts without Democratic contenders are situated in predominantly Republican areas, there are also instances where districts leaning Democratic do not currently have any party members in the running. 

One example is state House District 45 in southwest Orange County, represented by freshman GOP state Rep. Carolina Amesty. Despite being won by President Joe Biden in 2020 with a margin of 5 percentage points, there is currently no Democratic candidate declared for this district. 

Democrats aim to challenge Republican dominance in Florida’s legislative and congressional races. In the state House, they need to flip five seats to break the GOP supermajority, while in the state Senate, just one seat would achieve the same result.  

Regarding congressional races, the Democratic Party identified three districts lacking a candidate, represented by Republican U.S. Representatives Neal Dunn, John Rutherford, and Gus Bilirakis. These districts pose significant challenges for Democrats, as they are classified as Republican strongholds for the upcoming 2024 elections, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. 

Agriculture Commissioner and state Democratic Party chair Nikki Fried emphasized the party’s commitment to contesting more races than the previous year. However, several districts lack Democratic candidates, particularly in the Panhandle and South Florida. Despite the challenges, Democrats understand that having a candidate in every race is crucial, even in districts traditionally considered Republican strongholds. 

“We are already competing in more races compared to 2022, but our goal is to field candidates in every seat across the state and give Republicans a run for their money,” Fried commented. 

Florida Democrats faced a significant setback in the 2022 elections, with their candidate, Charlie Crist, losing the governor’s race by a considerable margin of 19 points. Additionally, the party is grappling with a growing registration gap, as Republicans currently outnumber Democrats by nearly 900,000 registered voters as of March 31. 

Democratic analyst Matt Isbell has called the billboards “advertising for the party,” saying that the billboards “instill confidence.”  

It’s hard to imagine residents feeling “confident” when their party has to rent billboards to encourage candidates to run. 

Florida Republican Chair Evan Power is unconcerned, suggesting that Floridians are finished with the radical agenda of the Democrat party. Power remarked that the Democratic Party had to invest significant funds in billboards to attract candidates, implying a lack of enthusiasm. He contrasted this with Republican achievements, citing the party’s voter registration growth, local elections success, and efforts to benefit Florida residents. 

Florida is not the only state finding it challenging to convince Democrats to run. Fourteen other states, including West Virginia, New Mexico, California, and Georgia, lack a Democratic candidate for some key positions in their state legislatures. In total, there are 262 races without Democratic challengers. By contrast, Republicans have only 215 races without a candidate. 

It will take more than billboards to address the issue. Many average Americans might not step up to fill vacancies in state legislatures because the pay for state legislators is often relatively low. Many of them might need to seek other sources of income, which would take time away from their legislative duties. Plus, many people might not fully understand the importance of state legislatures and how much influence legislators have on policy decisions.  

Additionally, running for office can be overwhelming and full of challenges like fundraising, campaigning, and dealing with complex political processes. And there’s also a general distrust or dislike for government jobs, especially among younger workers, who might see government work as bureaucratic and inefficient.  

For Florida’s Democratic Party, the billboard campaign is a way to keep Republicans “worried about their seats, if only a little bit,” explains professor of political science Aubrey Jewett. She adds that introducing rivals forces Republicans to stretch their campaign funds thinner by making them fight for each seat. 

If the billboards fail, LinkedIn. Monster or Indeed may be great resources for Democratic candidates. After all, it seems that most liberals were recruited from Craig’s List in the first place.