And he announced definitively that he is a candidate to replace Rod Smith as chairman of the Florida Democratic Party next January.
In a press release, Randolph said he made his decision in part due to redistricting, because he now would be running for re-election in a district in which 75 percent of the voters are people he hasn't represented before.
“I am proud of my legislative service. For six years, I fought back against a radical agenda that continues to shift the tax burden to the middle class, that has shrunk Florida’s commitment to spending on Florida’s students in public schools, and which has led an unrelenting attack on women and all of Florida’s families."
There will be other candidates in the race — including one Tampa Democrat.
Alan Clendenin flirted with competing for the party chairmanship two years ago, before bowing out after Rod Smith opted to go for the position.
Speaking to CL Tuesday afternoon Clendenin, who is both a Democratic National Committeeman and Hillsborough County State Committeeman, said that he is still very much interested in being the party chair in 2013, but thinks it's way too early to be campaigning for such a position, taking a dig at his potential challenger in the process.
"I'm not particularly enamored of Representative Randolph making that announcement today because what I believe we really need to be doing within the party is stay focused," Clendenin said, adding that "there's going to be a time and a place to vet this out and discuss the future of the party. But right now, across the state from Escambia down to Monroe, we've got to be singularly focused to insure that our voters know how important the election is this fall."
Randolph became the darling of progressives in Florida and even across the country in 2011 when he joked that if his wife's uterus were incorporated, maybe his colleagues would be talking about regulating it, garnering him a spot one night on Rachel Maddow's program.
Alan Clendenin says the time to campaign for the job is after November 6, the date of the presidential election. He says that after the Democrats failed to show up to vote in 2010 (allowing Rick Scott to win the governor's mansion and more Republicans to get elected to the already lopsided GOP-led Legislature), Democrats should be laser focused on getting their base registered and to the polls this November, and nothing else.
Some analysts think that could be harder for Democrats this year. Though President Obama has a fierce ground effort already well established in Florida, a controversial elections bill passed in 2011 radically reduces the time that third-party groups have to turn in voter registration cards, a reality that led the League of Women Voters to decline for the first time since they've been in Florida to carry out voting registration drives.
"I doubt there's another state in the U.S. that is more familiar with voter suppression than the state of Florida and what the Republican Party has done and Republican leadership in this state is absolutely nothing short of anti-democracy, anti-American and really violates every sense of what we believe in in a free and open democratic society," Clendenin said with an edge to his voice. "Voter suppression is absolutely something every voter in the state of Florida should be concerned about, whether they were a conservative, a liberal Democrat, a Tea Party activist. Everyone should be concerned about that type of agenda."
Along with Randolph and Clendenin, Palm Beach County Democrat Mark Siegel has had his name mentioned as a possible contender to replace Rod Smith next year. But considering this year isn't even half over, there might very well be more Democrats getting involved, depending on what happens this November.