Now back in the Florida House, state Rep. Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee, is getting attention from a national liberal group.
On Tuesday, Ausley was named as part of a group of 14 signaled out by NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders). The group was founded by former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and former Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in the last election cycle. Currently former Gov. Jack Markell, D-Del., and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., lead the group which defines itself as developing “leaders focused on expanding opportunity, helping them develop and spread innovative ideas to spur economic growth that is broadly-earned and sustainable” and facilitating the “exchange of ideas among its members and connects them with other pro-growth progressive political, policy, and private sector leaders.”
Markell and Warner praised Ausley who was the Democratic candidate for state CFO in 2010 when she was defeated by Republican Jeff Atwater.
“We congratulate and applaud Loranne, who has shown a dedication to developing pro-growth, progressive policies that increase economic opportunity for everyone,” said Markell and Warner. “More than ever, we need to support outstanding state and local leaders who have innovative ideas that address the most important issues facing Americans in our new economy. We are committed to highlighting their work, while giving them the chance to learn from each other and replicate solutions that make government work better.”
“The NewDEAL provides a unique and valuable opportunity for state and local leaders to learn from each other and develop policies that make today’s economy work better for everyone in our communities,” said South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “It’s clear that we need new voices with fresh ideas and an ability to get things done to reinvigorate the Democratic Party and address the challenges that have the greatest impact on our constituents – in education, job creation, and more effective government services. I’m thrilled that Loranne will join this effort to keep our country moving forward.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience on the NewDEAL board, and I am honored to now join as a leader,” Ausley said.” NewDEAL’s impressive national network includes a cross-section of public servants dedicated to expanding opportunity for everyone in the new economy, while making government work more effectively.
“I look forward to the opportunity to discover policies and share best practices with my colleagues in state and local government from across the country,” Ausley added.
Other members of the new class include Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, Alabama state House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.
Ausley is not the only Florida Democrat with ties to the group. Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz is a vice chairman. Current U.S. Rep. Darren Soto and former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown also took part in the same program that Ausley was named to. The group has also signaled out State Attorney Dave Aronberg, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum who is currently running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman as “pro-growth progressive state and local elected officials championing ideas to grow the economy, expand opportunity for all, and make government work better.” Ausley has endorsed Gillum in the gubernatorial race.
Ausley, the granddaughter of state Sen. Charles Ausley and prominent Tallahassee attorney DuBose Ausley, was first elected to the Florida House in 2000 and served four terms before facing term limits in 2008. In 2010, Ausley was routed by Atwater, taking 39 percent while the Republican garnered 57 percent. Ausley bounced back last year, beating Republican Jim Messer to return to the Florida House.