Annisa Karim, who garnered nearly 73,000 votes in her race for the Florida Senate, has been elected chair of the Collier County Democratic Party.
In a special election this week, Karim was the unanimous choice for the leadership position by members of the Democratic Executive Committee. She assumes the post immediately and succeeds outgoing chair Yudy Barbera.
“It is a great honor to serve as chair of the Democratic Party in Collier County,” Karim said. “As we approach the 2020 election, Democrats are committed to turn this country around. Here in Florida, the most important of the swing states, we know that every vote will count. We have our work cut out for us, and I look forward to working with my fellow Democrats in Collier County in this great effort.”
This will be Karim’s second time to chair the party. She served in that role from 2013 until 2016 when she stepped down to run for county commission.
A resident of Golden Gate, Karim, 44, is a manager with the Lee County Department of Parks and Recreation. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in wildlife ecology from the University of Florida, and tackling the state’s ongoing environmental crisis was the centerpiece of her campaign for state Senate in the midterm election.
“I am often asked, especially in southwest Florida, why I am a Democrat,” she said. “The answers are simple. I am a Democrat because:
- “I believe in progress and in the promise of liberty and justice for ALL.
- “I believe in environmental protection and conservation because our natural environment is our greatest asset – it is our long-term insurance policy for our economy and our quality of life.
- “I believe in the radical notion that women are equal to men and that everyone should have autonomy over their bodies.
- “I believe in equal pay for equal work and I believe in paying people a living wage.
- “I believe that everyone, no matter their faith (or lack thereof), race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, deserves equal respect and equal rights to pursue a meaningful life.
- “I believe that everyone has value and has a place in our community.
- “I believe that quality public education benefits all people in our society.
- “I believe in SCIENCE.
- “I understand that our strength as a country comes from our diversity.
- “I understand that we must continue to work to diminish the corrupting influence of special interest money in politics.”
In addition to her longtime involvement with the local Democratic Party, Karim serves as vice chair of the American Muslim Democratic Caucus of Florida and is a co-founder of Florida Candidates For Science.
During her campaign for state Senate, she was endorsed by the National Organization for Women, the Sierra Club, MoveOn.org, the Democratic Veterans Caucus of Florida, the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida, the Estero Candidate Screening Committee, and other organizations and candidates including the state’s new agricultural commissioner, Nikki Fried.