November 6th, 2018, was one of the worst days of my life.
I had spent the prior 5 months working to get Andrew Gillum elected Governor of Florida, first as a Regional Volunteer Lead for his campaign during the Primary, and then as a Deputy Regional Field Director for the Florida Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign, which was running the field operation for his and the other statewide races, during the General.
I genuinely believed it was going to happen. The “Blue Wave” was going to sweep a whole host of Florida Democrats into Tallahassee and Washington D.C. And then it didn’t.
I was out of the country for the 2016 election and it was basically over by the time I got any news of it, so it was a huge shock, but it was a singular one. I know now what it must have felt like watching those results come in: the creeping sense of dread at the early results; the waiting for things to get better; hoping and imploring Broward and Dade counties to come through; thinking the votes were still out there…until they weren’t. It was crushing. It took days, weeks really — and a trip to China — to get over it.
Enthusiasm had been so high for Mayor Gillum and we had all worked so hard, volunteers and staff alike, during both the Primary and the General.
What the hell happened?!
Like with any election loss, there will never be a single answer as to what transpired, why we didn’t win. There is always a multitude of things that went wrong or could have been done better. I don’t have all the answers or even know all the problems, but I have some insights and ideas, in particular in regard to the campaign itself, since I was directly involved with it.
I intend to discuss, in a series of upcoming posts, issues I saw with the campaign and with the Democratic Party, both at the state and the local level. While there will be criticisms, I assure you, they will not be directed at individuals as my goal is not to point fingers, but to illuminate the issues so they can be addressed and hopefully fixed for the future. We could have done better, we can do better, and I plan to work so that we DO better.
Stay tuned. In addition to posting them directly, I will list the posts below as I finish them.
I welcome all questions, comments, rebuttals, and criticisms of your own.