New Sarasota County Democratic Caucus organized to target senior voters

First meeting, on June 29, to feature U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and ‘Bowzer’ Bauman

Image courtesy of the Sarasota County Democratic Seniors Caucus

Pointing out that voters age 65 and older “could be the key” to victories in the 2022 Florida races for governor and the U.S. Senate, area residents have organized the Sarasota County Democratic Seniors Caucus.

“The seniors’ voting segment makes up around 30% of the state’s voting population,” said Lou Grossman of Sarasota, president of the Caucus, in a news release. “That is why we are forming a Seniors Caucus here and, like other counties across the state, targeting this important group.”

“There are many issues of critical importance to seniors,” he added in the release. Those include Medicare, Social Security, prescription drug prices, ageism and voter suppression, he pointed out. “These are key issues for Democratic candidates in Sarasota and statewide,” he added in the release. “The Republicans don’t care about seniors or our Democratic values. We plan to target seniors to educate them, help register more senior voters and get out their vote,” Grossman continued in the release.

Grossman, who also served as seniors vote director in Florida for the Biden/Harris 2020 campaign, noted in the release that the Democratic Party “made tremendous improvements” in getting Florida seniors to the polls last year. By most estimates, he said, seniors’ participation in the 2020 General Election was up by 6% to 8% over the total for 2016.

“But we can do better, and we will do better — despite [Gov. Ron] DeSantis’ and Republican legislators’ efforts to make it harder for seniors and all people of color to vote,” Grossman stressed in the release.

“We have put together a dedicated core group of volunteers and activists from throughout Sarasota County to build our caucus, joining those caucuses in Broward, Duval, Miami-Dade, Pinellas and other counties,” said Grossman in the release. “This is a true movement. Sarasota is a major force in the seniors movement. We will definitely help local and state candidates win in 2022.”

Joining Grossman as the recently elected leaders of the Sarasota organization are Rose LaChapelle, vice president; Jayne Wallace, secretary; Dick Tearle, treasurer; and Norine Hemping, at-large board member, the release adds.

At 5:30 p.m. on June 29, the release says, the Caucus will kick off its monthly meeting schedule with a Zoom session featuring Florida gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist. Seniors advocate Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, formerly of Sha Na Na, will join Crist in addressing the group. Interested persons are invited to visit to sign up for the meeting.

Other senatorial and gubernatorial candidates will address the group in the coming months, the release notes.

For information on joining the group, persons may email

“There is no age requirement,” Grossman added in the release. “We welcome people of all ages — those who are traditionally called seniors and those who want to become seniors!”