By: Sharon Aron Baron
Mitch Ceasar was elected again as Chair of the Broward Democratic Executive Committee in the packed Diamante’s Event Center in Tamarac.
Voting on Sunday were committee members from precincts from all over Broward County who waited patiently to cast their vote for the next Democratic leader. Many already knew who they were standing behind.
Would they be casting their vote for Mitch Ceasar, the incumbent, or Cynthia Busch, the grassroots organizer?
“Mitch Ceasar,” said Regina Powell of Deerfield Beach, “Ceasar was understanding and got people out to vote.
“Cynthia Bush. I know her and find her to be an incredibly hard worker and dedicated and a good human being, “ said Joan Paul of Davie.
Challenged by Area Leader and Organizing for America activist Cynthia Busch, Ceasar, who had been the DEC Chair since 1996, faced a tough challenge but survived to win a fifth term as Chair, winning with 340 – 242 votes.
The election ran smoothly compared to the allegations facing the DEC of missing ballots in 2008.
“The election ran as smoothly as possible under very tense scrutiny. I talked to a couple of the winning and losing candidates. No Gripes.“ Said Gary McClellan of Fort Lauderdale.
The biggest upset that created the most chaotic moments in the election came when nominations were being taken for state committeewomen. Sitting Committeewoman Diane Glasser was nominated and accepted and president of the Democratic Women’s Club of Northeast Broward, Maggie Davidson.
Nominations were closed, and Davidson made her two-minute speech. When Glasser’s turn to make her speech, she decided to decline the nomination and step aside. Instead of the step-aside part, Glasser wanted to nominate someone to replace her even after nominations were closed, which caused yelling from the room.
Why didn’t Glasser nominate this person from the floor?
Ceasar was advised by the state board and wanted voters to decide if they favored Glasser being able to reopen a motion to nominate by saying, ‘Aye.’
When those that opposed were noticeably much louder, Ceasar suddenly turned deaf and said, “I guess we’re going to have to see a show of hands.”
Someone had the idea that voters should hold up their ballots, but some were already collected before Glasser began speaking, so those voters were screaming against that idea.
It was a mess, chaotic, and it was loud.
Glasser, who had been a state committeewoman for 24 years, may not have learned diplomacy at that time. A leader would have seen the commotion, stayed on the course of stepping aside and welcomed new leadership.
For the good of the party.
Glasser would have none of that. She decided to change her mind and run again.
With a speech that seemed fueled with more anger than passion, she said, “I just thought at this particular time it was time for me to step aside. But maybe it isn’t. Maybe it isn’t. We need to put a few people in the corner with a dunce cap on, and maybe we’ll survive.”
Glasser never clarified who those people she’d like to put in a corner with a dunce cap on. Maybe she was speaking about some of her fellow Democrats. Or maybe she was talking about herself after it was just released in court this week that she took more than $15,000 from the Chaits for “managing” Patte Atkins-Grad’s campaign.
Voters must not have liked what they saw, and after 24 years, elected another woman as the state committeewoman. Maggie Davidson won 285 – 196.
Cynthia Busch later was elected first vice chairwoman of the party. She accepted the nomination and won after she agreed to take only after Davidson won the state committeewoman race.
Chair: Mitch Ceasar
1st Vice Chair: Cynthia Busch
2nd Vice-Chair Betty DiMaio
State Committeewoman: Maggie Davidson
State Committeeman: Ken Evans
Treasurer: Diana Pittarelli
Recording Secretary: Tim Ross
Corresponding Secretary: Darren Covar