Former Mayor Manny Diaz Is the Only Guy Martin O'Malley Could Find to Join His "Florida Leadership Team"
If you're a Democratic primary voter, chances are you're either feeling the Bern or you're silly for Hillary — but not former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz. Nope. He's a Martin O'Malley guy all the way. In fact, when it came time for O'Malley's campaign to round up state leadership teams, Diaz was apparently the only guy they could find to join in the entire 19.89 million person state of Florida.
O'Malley announced leadership teams in 21 states today. That list includes a far heftier 60 people in Iowa and 25 in New Hampshire. Diaz was, according to the Miami Herald, the only Floridian mentioned and now the sole member of O'Malley's leadership team in the Sunshine State.
Diaz changed his party registration to no affiliation to run for Miami's nonpartisan mayoral office, but towards the end of his two terms started to become less shy about his political leanings. He endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2008 and then spoke at that year's Democratic National Convention in support of Barack Obama.
Diaz, however, decided he wasn't going to repeat his Clinton support this time a year. Diaz's term as mayor of Miami and O'Malley's time as Baltimore mayor had overlapped, and the two became friendly at the time. In fact, earlier this year Diaz hosted a meet-and-greet in Miami for O'Malley before he officially entered the race.
After leaving office in 2009, Diaz was occasionally mentioned as a candidate for bigger offices, including at the state level. The fact he's putting his chips behind a long-shot presidential candidate instead of remaining loyal to the Clintons indicates he might not be thinking about further pursuits in elected politics. He's concentrated now on managing his law firm, Lydecker Diaz, which currently represents Walmart in its efforts to build in Midtown (a bit of a shocking turnaround for the progressive-leaning mayor).
To be fair, O'Malley has experienced something of a surge in the polls since the first Democratic debate, Jim Webb's exit, and Joe Biden's announcement that he won't chase the nomination. By "surge" we mean that he was once regularly polling at one percent or less, but according to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll he's now sitting a pretty at 3 percent. That's a 300 percent increase in support!
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.