There has never been a female leader of the Florida Senate's Democratic Caucus -- and there won't be till 2010, when Sen. Nan Rich, the Weston Democrat, assumes the role. She will get the formal designation at a press conference in Tallahassee at 10:30 this morning.
"It's long overdue," said Rich of the milestone. "But I also think it's important because it's another indication of women's voices growing in the legislature and taking positions that haven't been afforded to them before."
Not that female Democrats have been shut out from leadership positions in the Senate. There has been a female Senate president -- Gwen Margolis of Miami from 1990-92.
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In her new capacity, Rich, a prolific fundraiser, will be able to bring her style of campaign strategy to bear within the party. "The caucus promotes the core principles and values of the Democratic agenda," she says. "I do that today, but this will give me an opportunity to do that for the entire state." Starting in 2010, it'll be Rich's responsibility to identify talent within the party ranks and groom candidates in Florida Senate seats that look like they'll be closely contested.