After Iowa, 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates Eye Florida

While New Hampshire is up next and Florida holds its primary after Super Tuesday, some of the Democratic presidential candidates are already eyeing the Sunshine State.

With Florida ranking as the largest swing state in the general election, Democrats are already taking a look at the state with some of them seeing the I-4 corridor between Daytona Beach and St. Petersburg as the key.

While she has focused on Iowa and New Hampshire, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. has already opened a campaign office in Orlando.

“The Florida for Warren team has built a presence across the state in the form of trainings, recruitment meetings, organizing events, and constituency roundtables,” said Kim Diaz Scott, Warren’s state director in Florida. “Today’s office opening marks the next step of our growing grassroots movement.”

More than 60 people turned out as the Warren team opened the new office, including Orange County Commissioner Emily Bonilla.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already launched an aggressive media blitz, including a TV campaign, but he has taken other steps to nail down the Sunshine State. Bloomberg has already held events in Florida and has opened an office in Tampa. On Monday, the Bloomberg team opened an office in Orlando at an event featuring the victims of gun violence.

While Bloomberg did not compete in Iowa, his team is claiming a win after the disastrous effort to count the votes and release the results.

“Mike Bloomberg undoubtedly won the Iowa caucuses. He called for reform to early elections long before what happened in Iowa. Mike is building a national campaign, addressing the issues that face all Americans, and that shows by our operation here in Florida.” Scott Kosanovich, Bloomberg’s Florida state director, told Florida Daily.

The Bloomberg campaign has big plans, opening campaign offices in St. Petersburg, Little Havana, Sanford and West Palm Beach in the coming days. The campaign already has more than 100 staff members on the ground in Florida. Bloomberg is also lining up support in the state, netting the endorsement of former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn this week.

“Mike’s record in business and as mayor of New York City makes him uniquely qualified to serve as the next president of the United States. I am proud to endorse him because I know he will bring our country together at a time when we need it most,” said Buckhorn. “Mike is already showing his commitment to building a strong and robust campaign in Florida, and I know it will benefit all Democrats up-and-down the ballot in November. Mike Bloomberg is a good man with strong integrity and I know he has what it takes to win.”

Bloomberg also has the support of U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla.

Other candidates have also been turning their attention to Florida. Former Vice President Joe Biden has not opened any Florida offices yet but he has hit the state multiple times for fundraisers. Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has spent time in the Orlando area to raise money and he also held campaign events in Central Florida. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has visited Florida several times and won the Iowa satellite caucus held in St. Petersburg this week. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has also hit Florida, including campaigning for gubernatorial candidate former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum back in 2018.


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