Sally Boynton Brown, the former executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party is packing her bags and heading to Florida to serve as the Florida Democratic Party’s new president.
Boynton Brown, a newcomer to Florida politics, will replace executive director Scott Arceneaux, who stepped down after longtime Democratic fundraiser Stephen Bittel took over as party chair in January.
With the new appointment comes a new title for Boynton Brown, “president,” replacing the term “executive director.”
This will be Boynton Brown’s first foray into Florida politics, where the Democrats desperately need to gain ground and make up for a poor performance in last year’s election. She has spent the last five years as executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party.
Idaho is heavily Republican, with a GOP governor, two GOP senators and a heavily Republican legislature.
Boynton Brown, 41, previously served as the president of the Association of State Democratic Executive Directors. She made headlines late last year when she jumped into the race for Democratic National Committee chair, running against Tom Perez and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison.
Boynton Brown was the only woman in the race at the time she entered and ultimately came in third for the job.
"Sally shares my optimistic, idealistic enthusiasm," said Stephen Bittel in a release. “Her national profile and experience as President of the Democratic State Party Directors are a testament to her impressive party and infrastructure building skills.”
Other members of the party said they were glad to see the team being filled up and welcomed Boynton Brown to the FDP.
“We are very excited,” Deputy Press Secretary Johanna Cervone told Sunshine State News.
The FDP, still reeling from widespread losses last year, has rebuilt its team in an attempt to push the odds in their favor to win in 2018 and beyond -- and some members of the party say they aren't sure Boynton Brown's experience will cross over quite so seamlessly.
"While I'm excited that the position is filled, Idaho is vastly different from Florida," Democratic African American Women's Caucus president Leslie Wimes said. "She's certainly going to have her work cut out for her. We aren't as homogeneous as she may be used to. Florida is at least three states, maybe even five, in one."
Last year, Democrats were largely hopeful they had the winning formula to sweep the presidential election as well as congressional and statewide races, but ultimately came up short, losing majorly across the board.
Not only did Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lose in Florida, but state Dems really only saw two large seat pickups through freshman Reps. Charlie Crist and Stephanie Murphy.
The party is still working on filling out the rest of its team, still on the hunt for a communications director. The FDP’s former communications director, Max Steele, recently took a job with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party as a senior communications adviser.