Tant Elected Florida Democratic Party Chair

BRENDAN FARRINGTON, AP Political Writer

LAKE MARY, Fla. (AP) — Long-time party fundraiser Allison Tant is the new Florida Democratic Party chairman.

Tant, of Tallahassee, was elected Saturday and replaces former Sen. Rod Smith.

Tant beat Alan Clendenin, 587 to 448. In a show of unity, Clendenin was then elected vice chairman and the pair stood grasping hands over their heads.

Tant immediately set her target on Republican Gov. Rick Scott, saying she wants to turn the party into a powerhouse.

Democrats are hoping their successes last November weren’t just based on the strength of President Barack Obama’s campaign machine.

In addition to Obama’s Florida victory, Democrats elected four new congressmen and Sen. Bill Nelson easily won re-election against Republican Rep. Connie Mack. Democrats also made gains in the Legislature, defeating enough Republican incumbents to take away the GOP’s supermajority.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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