It's a particularly strange time for the Democratic Party of Florida, considering that two of the bigger names considering a run for the party's 2014 gubernatorial nomination have never held office as a Democrat before. Now one of them, former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, may pull out of the race before it even begins.
A recent poll showed that Diaz was the third place candidate in the race behind former Republican-turned-Democrat ex-Gov. Charlie Crist and former state CFO Alex Sink. That sounds pretty good, but in actuality, only four percent of voters favored him. Still, that's a lot better than other lesser known candidates in the mix.
However, the Miami Herald reports that Diaz's quiet campaign to start shoring up fundraising and support had abruptly falling off earlier this month. Though he never officially announced his candidacy, insiders say he may pull out due to "unspecified family reasons."
"I don't know if he's staying in," Miami-Dade's former Democratic Party chairman Richard Lydecker told the paper. "He hasn't decided if he has decided."
Diaz has long had ties to the Democratic party, and supported Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, but did make it a point to reregister as an Independent during his run for the non-partisan position of city mayor.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.