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Politics Former county Republican chairwoman registers as Democrat — to cast primary vote for Pete Buttigieg

14:25  14 february  2020
14:25  14 february  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Cindy Guerra, a former chairwoman of the Broward Republican Party, changed her party registration this week to become a Democrat.

a person holding a microphone: Cindy Guerra, in 2010, when she was an officer of the Broward Republican Party. A staunch opponent of President Donald Trump, she has registered as a Democrat to vote for Pete Buttigieg in the March 17 Florida Democratic presidential primary.© Carline Jean / Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS Cindy Guerra, in 2010, when she was an officer of the Broward Republican Party. A staunch opponent of President Donald Trump, she has registered as a Democrat to vote for Pete Buttigieg in the March 17 Florida Democratic presidential primary.

She said she did it so she could vote for Pete Buttigieg in Florida’s March 17 Democratic presidential primary.

There are two reasons. One, Guerra is impressed with Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., who finished a close second in this week’s New Hampshire primary. “I find him very impressive. I do think he’s qualified.”

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And former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York are looking like the contenders to seize the mantle of the Democratic Party’s moderate wing. That’s the picture of the Democratic presidential race presented by Monmouth University in a national

Re- registered as a Democrat in October, nearly two decades after he left the party to run for mayor as a Republican . Check out Pete Buttigieg ’s candidate profile page ». Has called for Democrats to focus on reclaiming the swing states in the middle of the country, pitching herself as a pragmatist who

The second reason: President Donald Trump.

“Here’s the thing: I am not going to vote for Donald Trump — ever. I think Pete Buttigieg is far more qualified than Donald Trump. I think he’s far more intelligent. I think he is far more human,” Guerra said. “We need a change.”

After three years of the Trump presidency, Guerra said it wasn’t hard to register as a Democrat. “The moment that the party supported Donald Trump, that’s when I knew that I was not part of that party.”

Still, Guerra remained a Republican through the 2016 election, but later switched her registration to no party affiliation.

Even as a Republican, she was an outspoken voice for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who lost to Trump in 2016. Guerra approached the Clinton campaign and appeared in TV and radio ads for her.

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Pete Buttigieg , the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has become the subject of most scrutiny after his surprise first place finish in Iowa. Mr Buttigieg 's success has prompted criticisms from rivals. At the weekend, Joe Biden shared a video mocking Mr Buttigieg 's record as mayor of South

in the New Hampshire Democratic primary , beating Pete Buttigieg by just 1.3 percentage points. primary , and ranked higher than Buttigieg , Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden Republicans also voted , but with no major contenders for the slot other than Donald Trump.

“I knew this was not going to work out,” she said. “I supported Hillary Clinton because there was no way I was going to support Donald Trump because I knew that everything that is happening was going to happen. I didn’t really imagine it was going to be quite as bad, but here we are.”

Guerra said she views Trump as divisive, a bigot and misogynistic. “Anyone who thinks he knows more than the generals and mocks people with disabilities and mocks war heroes, I don’t want as a leader of our country.”

The booming stock market isn’t a sufficient reason to support Trump. “It’s bigger than our 401(k)s and it’s bigger than our investments and our stocks. Like everyone else, my stocks are doing better, but sometimes we have to rise up and put our country first.”

Guerra, who lives in Broward and works in Palm Beach County, was an assistant attorney general under former Attorney General Bill McCollum.

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Pete Buttigieg finished a strong second, but his success outside the first two states is still an open question. Warren, his closest rival for the liberal left vote , has yet to prove she can finish near Sanders. Amy Klobuchar's success ensures she'll stick around and the moderate support will remain splintered.

“I attracted a lot of independent and moderate Republican support, many of whom probably voted for a Democrat for the first time in a long time. “He did not win big!” she exclaimed. (Mr. Sanders took about 26 percent of the vote , just ahead of Pete Buttigieg , the former mayor of South Bend, Ind.)

She was vice chairwoman of the Broward Republican Party and won a contentious election for the top job in 2010 when the previous chairman, Chip LaMarca, stepped down to run for Broward County Commission.

Guerra was seen as a moderate by many, and was opposed by conservatives and the tea party wing of the party, which was a growing force in Republican politics at the time. Guerra didn’t run for re-election as party chairwoman at the end of 2010.

In 2016, she supported former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for the Republican presidential nomination, but said she could have voted for any of the party’s presidential candidates — except Trump.

Anthony Man can be reached at aman@sunsentinel.com or on Twitter @browardpolitics

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