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Wasserman Schutlz Not Allowed to Speak at Fla. Democrats’ Annual Dinner

A year ago, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., was the chair of the Democratic National Committee and a force to be reckoned with in Florida and national politics.

This year, Wasserman Schultz has lost her chairmanship after emails disclosed how she slanted DNC operations to favor Hillary Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries and she is not even a speaker at the Florida Democratic annual fundraising dinner.

The dinner is being held in Wasserman Schultz’s district.

The speakers include former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and three potential 2018 candidates for governor.

The possibility the former DNC chair might speak caused a fuss.

Leslie Wimes, president of the Democratic African-American Women’s Caucus, wrote in an op-ed published in the Sunshine State News that “putting the most divisive figure in recent Florida Democratic political history on stage at its biggest fundraising event will be a big mistake.”

“Let’s be honest. Debbie Wasserman Schultz makes Democrats want to vomit, not vote. There is already an establishment/progressive divide. Having Debbie Wasserman Schultz onstage is only going to widen that divide,” she added.

Tim Canova, who lost a primary to Wasserman Schultz in 2016 but plans to challenge her again in 2018, posted on Facebook that Wasserman Schultz had been scheduled to speak at one point, but was eventually pulled from the list.

“The Florida Democratic Party has reportedly come to its senses and backed down from its plan to have Debbie Wasserman Schultz give the welcoming address at its upcoming Blue Gala, part of the party’s annual Leadership Blue conference. I applaud the FDP leadership for listening to reason,” Canova wrote.

Canova said that after first being told neither he nor Wasserman Schultz would speak at the event, party leaders then sought to carve out a deal that would allow Wasserman Schultz to address the party. Canova said he rejected the offer.

“I was not, and I am not, willing to be complicit in what would be an enormous mistake for the party in opening the gala with Wasserman Schultz. The FDP leadership went back on their word to me and attempted to put Wasserman Schultz on the schedule for center stage just the same,” he added.

Party officials would not discuss whether the former DNC chair had planned to speak.