Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
Reporter James L. Rosica covers state government from the Tribune's Tallahassee bureau. Email
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Palm Beach DEC member breaks ranks, backs Tant
Posted Jan 10, 2013 by William March
Updated Jan 10, 2013 at 02:01 PM
John Ramos, Palm Beach County Democratic state committeeman, says he’ll cast his votes for Allison Tant for state Democratic Party chair, backing off the endorsement he gave Alan Clendenin along with other Southeast Florida party officials Tuesday.
Clendenin announced support from the six voting representatives of the Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach county parties Wednesday, a major coup. He released a statement of support signed by all six after they agreed in a meeting Tuesday night to endorse him.
In the party’s weighted voting system, the combined votes of the three counties, the largest Democratic counties in the state, are more than a quarter of the total available statewide vote.
On Wednesday, however, Tant released another statement signed by Ramos endorsing her. His move means Clendenin will lose 41 of the 318 votes cast by the three counties, out of about 1,100 total votes.
Asked to explain his reversal, Ramos said, “I just peeled away from the coalition—just a personality disagreement that we had in how we were going to deal with this. ... There was some dialogue that took place that I thought was uncalled for.”
Ramos had been a Tant backer before the Tuesday night meeting, in which the three counties’ representatives agreed to vote as a bloc. Tant adviser Christian Ulvert said this means, “The South Florida non-binding coalition may not be that much of a coalition.”