Statement by Acting Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chair María Elena López on Florida Democratic Party (FDP) Chair Nikki Fried’s Suspension of County Party Chairman Robert Dempster

The Miami-Dade Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) is a volunteer-run organization made up of dedicated Democrats of all ages and backgrounds hailing from all parts of the County, united to elect Democrats and support our Democratic elected officials at the Municipal, County, State, and Federal levels. As Acting Chair of the DEC, I object to the Florida Democratic Party Chair’s decision to override the will of our membership.

The Miami-Dade DEC has been and remains exclusively focused on the hard, day-to-day work of organizing Democratic voters and building people power ahead of the County elections in August and the Presidential election in November. During the past year under Chairman Robert Dempster’s leadership, we have built a robust communications committee, which increased our presence on social media and boosted voter engagement while addressing disinformation in both English and Spanish.  Our highly expert data committee has performed an in-depth voter analysis resulting in the creation of a text messaging program targeting inactive voters. County-wide voter registration has been constant during the past twelve months. Our Democratic clubs have been accredited for the first time in 3 years and they continue to expand their membership under Chairman Dempster’s leadership.  

As Democrats organizing the largest Democratic county in the state, we have been doing this work with zero financial or administrative support from the Florida Democratic Party (FDP). Undaunted by this vacuum, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party has hired a full-time paid Field Director, fully funded through local donations. We are currently the only DEC in the state with paid full-time staff. I am proud of what we have built. 

At this crucial time for our nation and the defense of our democratic values, I call on the FDP to share the Miami-Dade DEC’s singular focus on electing Democrats with robust funding and concrete plans.  For example, we are still waiting to  learn more about the million dollar plan announced by the FDP last year to fund voter registration. 

Chairwoman Fried, I strongly object to the recent press statements and actions by the FDP questioning our leadership and execution. I strongly object to the suspension of our Chair, and demand his timely reinstatement. Time is of the essence. Using FDP’s limited resources to undermine the sustained work and the all-important morale of two of the largest Democratic counties in the state will no doubt affect the work that needs to be done in this election year. 

As a Democrat and a proud American, winning in 2024 is my singular focus. I am proud to be part of Miami-Dade Dems as we continue that mission.

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