CONTACT: Mark Hollis
House Democrats Pick Rep. Darryl Rouson For Top House Leadership Post
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Following a vote of the 44-member Florida House Democratic Caucus, state Representative Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg this week accepted the nomination of his colleagues to serve as the House Democrats’ choice to lead the caucus in the 2014-16 legislative term, starting at the November 2014 organizational session of the Legislature.
At a Wednesday evening House Democratic Caucus meeting in Tallahassee, Representative Rouson, 58, was chosen to be the Democrats’ House Speaker-designate.
The action means that should Democrats take control of a majority of seats in the 120-member Florida House of Representatives after the 2014 elections, Rouson will be poised to serve as the next House speaker, a powerful political position that controls the flow of most major legislation and has significant sway over state spending. He also will be involved in developing, promoting and winning support for the legislative goals of Democrats who serve in the House.
In accepting the nomination, Rouson said he will focus for now on building unity within the Democratic Caucus, raising funds to elect more Democrats to the Legislature, and developing consensus on important legislative priorities.
“I’ve got my work cut out for me,” Representative Rouson said. “But I’m clear on my job…My job is to recruit, fundraise, win seats, and expand the powerbase of the Democrats in the Florida House of Representatives.”
Representative Rouson, a lawyer who was born in New Orleans, La., serves Florida House District 70 in Pinellas County. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2008. He is a former prosecutor in Pinellas County and he has resided in Florida since 1959.
He is married to Angela Holmes Rouson of St. Petersburg and is the father of eight children. Besides holding leadership positions in the House Democratic Caucus, Representative Rouson is the Democratic Ranking Member on three House committees and he enjoys support of Democrats and Republicans in both the state House and Florida Senate, besides being a well-known figure in the Tampa Bay area’s business and legal communities.