Florida Democrats picked a new leader last weekend in Orlando.

Stephen Bittel, 60, a Miami real estate developer, was elected as the new chairman of the Florida Democratic Party.

“He will do an excellent job,” said Deidre Newton, state committeewoman for the Palm Beach County Democratic Party. “He is a very smart man. I hope everyone can come together and support our new chair.”

Related: Newton Helping Rebuild Florida Democrats 

Bittel replaces Allison Tant as chair and assumes the herculean task of making Florida Democrats competitive again. Democrats have not occupied the Governor’s mansion since 1999, hold no cabinet level positions and are in the minority in both legislative chambers.

Bittel knocked off outgoing vice chairman Alan Clendenin and former state senator Dwight Bullard to win the position.

“This is a healing period,” Newton said. “There are bruised feelings out there, but I hope everyone can put this process behind us so we can start electing Democrats to office again.”