A week after the 2012 elections, apparently now is the right time.
In a press release, Clendenin announced his candidacy, saying that "As an air traffic controller for over 30 years, I know a little something about getting from point A to point B. In 2014 we will help Rick Scott’s private jet depart Tallahassee for the last time."
The other declared candidate in the race right now is former Orlando state legislator Scott Randolph, who announced his intentions to run for party chair back in May.
The race to replace Smith comes with the state party as a whole coming off a veritable high, having its best election results in years as they won seats in the House and State Senate, as well as in the state's congressional ranks.
But the reality is that the total composition of the state legislature is still dominantly massively by Republicans. The GOP still enjoys a 26-14 advantage in the Senate and will a 76-44 edge in the House.
Clendenin says he's the man that can keep the momentum going in 2014, declaring that "The Florida Democratic Party needs an individual who is fully committed to taking the reins as a full-‐time chair. Republicans aren’t working part-‐time on their attack plan, and neither should we. We need a leader with the energy and drive to give it everything they’ve got, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We need a Party Chair ready, willing and able to provide the leadership to rebrand, rebuild and recruit for our future."
Undoubtedly Clendenin will be a loud voice when it comes to the recent voting issues that put the state back on the front pages when it comes to what former USFSP political science professor Darryl Paulson calls "electoral dysfunction."
In May, Clendenin said this about what the Republicans had done by passing HB 1355, the elections reform bill, back in 2011.
"I doubt there's another state in the U.S. that is more familiar with voter suppression than the state of Florida and what the Republican Party has done and Republican leadership in this state is absolutely nothing short of anti-democracy, anti-American and really violates every sense of what we believe in in a free and open democratic society," Clendenin said with an edge to his voice. "Voter suppression is absolutely something every voter in the state of Florida should be concerned about, whether they were a conservative, a liberal Democrat, a Tea Party activist. Everyone should be concerned about that type of agenda."