Allison Tant and Florida Dems Dropped the Ball on Allie Braswell

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: August 20, 2013 3:55 AM
Allison Tant and Allie Braswell

Allison Tant and Allie Braswell | Photo credit (left to right) FloridaTrend; iamempowered.com

Democrats had high expectations when Allison Tant took over the Florida party back in January, but her leadership should be called into question after Allie Braswell pulled out of the state CFO’s race only four days after he entered.

Tant took over the state party from Rod Smith back in January and the political winds seemed to be at her back since Barack Obama carried Florida in November while Bill Nelson manhandled Connie Mack. Democrats also chipped away at the GOP’s control of the Legislature and defeated two incumbent Republican congressmen. With Rick Scott underwater in the polls, Democrats have high hopes for winning their first gubernatorial election in 20 years.

But Tant’s leadership failed badly in recent days. On Thursday, when he entered the race, Tant sung Braswell’s praises as the Democratic leadership rallied behind the new candidate. But Friday news broke that Braswell had filed for bankruptcy three times.

It’s an easy catch in a basic vetting process but somehow Tant and the Florida Democrats dropped the ball on an issue which calls into questions Braswell’s credentials to be state CFO. Over the weekend, while Tant fired away at Scott, Braswell decided to get out of the race, making the announcement on Monday. While Braswell was only in the race for four days, he caused considerable embarrassment for the Florida Democrats.

Florida Democrats can still feel good about their chances against Scott but Braswell was their first major candidate for a statewide office in 2014. By failing to properly vet Braswell, Tant will put any other future candidate, especially those with the party’s backing, in a bad spot. While Charlie Crist or Alex Sink or well-known Democrats can probably avoid questions about being vetted, lesser-known candidates can expect questions about their backgrounds and how much information the party had on them.

Braswell was the first candidate Tant took the lead on in backing and she failed badly in the selection and screening process. That can’t be encouraging to activists or the party’s financial backers. The Democrats who backed Tant’s bid to lead the state party, like Crist and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, can’t be pleased with her first candidate being such a dud.

Democrats still have their chances in Florida next year. Scott is vulnerable and Democrats should be competitive against a handful of Republican congressmen and GOP state representatives. But Republicans remain confident about keeping the state CFO, attorney general and agriculture commissioner under their control and Tant’s bumbling efforts for Braswell haven’t helped matters for the Democrats.

If Tant and the state party fumble again, it’s possible that Democratic candidates in 2014 avoid the party to strike out on their own. Despite backing Tant, Crist has little ties to the party. He only joined at the end of last year after years as a Republican. Crist could easily go his own way if he runs against Scott and not coordinate his efforts with the state party, which could leave down-ticket Democrats in the lurch.

Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News

Comments (8)

Richard Paul Dembinsky
9:47PM SEP 15TH 2013
Very interesting to learn that the Chairwoman of the Democratic Party has been vetted by the Obama Administration (Joe Biden, the cursing Vice President better first look at what happened in 2000 when the Democratic Party of Florida did not work for Gore...the lobbyists from Washington were running the Volusia County 2000 election. I was shocked by how little the democratic party of Florida helped Gore.

There is nothing to indicate the Florida Democratic Party will be any better than in the year 2000, Vice Presidents are rarely elected to President and with the apparent meltdown of the Florida democratic party in 2014, it is looking like Joe Biden will not win Florida should he be the nominee for President in 2016.

What does this have to do with Honorable Rick Scott and Honorable Jeff Atwater being reelected in 2014.

Hey, National Democratic Party, unless the Florida Democratic Party finds a new Chairman or Chairwomen immediately there is NO way I would vote for Any Democrat in the year 2016 and if Joe Biden believes he is better than Alan Gore he will be shocked that some other candidate will be the winner of the democratic Florida primary in 2016.

So National Democratic Party...replace A.T.R. NOW she has surely damaged any hope for Joe Biden in Florida. If A.T.R. is the chairwoman in 2016 I will personally work to defeat Joe Biden in Florida. We don't need the cursing V.P. or a chairwoman that selects the CFO candidate over a year before a primary. It is unfair for the democrats to expect people to be willing to run for office when the democratic party of Florida refuses to have a balanced approach. Add to the chairwoman's poor judgment with Edward Braswell coupled with the fact that Charlie Crist is causing democrats to NOT have a candidate ....Florida Democrats are Toast.

Please these are my opinion I voted for Richard Nixon, then voted Jimmy Carter in and then out, when independent thinking democrats tell YOU that the A.T.R. chairwoman must be replaced NOW it is done in hopes that some National Democratic Party official calls me 386 788 3885....oh, ASK Janet Reno when she lost the primary after I instructed here in detail the need to apologize or she would not win the primary. What I am saying independent democrats don't like the party control of the selection process and would rather have 4 more years of Honorable Rick Scott than another 4 years of the chairwoman's selection for Governor. IN 2000 I installed 1000 signs along with those Washington Lobbyist in effort to win Volusia County for Gore / Lieberman, but this time I will work for the Republicans unless the chairwoman is replaced immediately...she is not good for the long term health of the Florida Democratic Party. Oh, I want my donation to the reelection of Obama returned....it was a poor investment unless the President demands that the Florida Democratic Party stop selecting a candidate before there is a democratic primary.....it is unfair and unconstitutional...."Florida Constitution " guarantee equal Civil and Political Rights for ALL....the Chairwoman is NOT being fair remove her NOW. signed Richard
7:53AM AUG 20TH 2013
hatchet job with no useful information. let the people decide jeff.
this kind of stuff is the only way republicans can win in florida come 2014.
10:32AM AUG 20TH 2013
Yeah, writing a story on the Democrat candidate for CFO, who had 3 bankruptcies is a non news story.
Officer Brabrady,"Nothing to see here, move along".
What a joke.
11:39AM AUG 20TH 2013
Yeah, not like he's a witch running for national office . . . . or men who believe that women can self-regulate their bodies to prevent pregnancy during rape . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
1:27PM AUG 20TH 2013
No clue what your liberal babble means...
8:23PM AUG 20TH 2013
Of course you don't understand . . . you get your news only from Fox News and therefore live in a fantasy world that never was . . . maybe you are so un-informed and reality challenged that you don't recognize your own GOP party's candidates for Senate this last election cycle: Christine O'Donnell, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock . . . proving once again, that Repubtallygirl's comments remain absolutely clueless and . . .

Pathetic . . . .
12:24PM AUG 21ST 2013
Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, Rand Paul.....
Fox News.....highest rated news network on cable.....
sux being you, doesn't it.....can't wait for 2014...
1:27PM AUG 20TH 2013
But please Ms. Tant, keep up the good work!

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.