Jodi Schwartz: From ‘Never Walking Again’ to Trying to Flip PBC Red

As Palm Beach County inches closer to Republican dominance, Jodi Schwartz is determined to seal the deal. The West Boca mother of two is running to be the county’s next Republican State Committeewoman, and she plans to end the Palm Beach Democrats’ reign.

“What we’ve been doing recently in the last couple of years has made a difference in Palm Beach County,” Schwartz boasts. “It’s really given Tallahassee and the Republican Party of Florida something to look at.”

Since 2018, Palm Beach County has gradually broken free of its Democrat stranglehold, with Republicans picking up some unexpected wins. In 2022, Republicans managed to flip two seats on the county commission. Last March, more than half of the GOP candidates in the county won their municipal races, and the Delray Beach mayoral seat flipped Republican.

Jodi with her family

But behind Republicans’ tremendous gains is an army of unsung campaign volunteers who do much of the hard work reaching voters—door-knockers, phone bankers, grassroots activists. Jodi Schwartz is one of them.

“I’m on the ground, I’m at meetings, I’m on campaigns, I’m door knocking. My cell phone is literally always next to me. I’ll get back to somebody within two hours, three hours at the most, 90 percent of the time. I’m very much with the people on the ground. And I think that’s very, very important.” ~ Jodi Schwartz

Schwartz has lived in Palm Beach County for seven years. She has been married for twenty years and has two teenage children. “The way I define myself is by keywords,” she says. I’m a mother and a wife, Jewish, Republican, conservative, MAGA.” She describes her entrance into politics as “low-key,” having started as a part-time volunteer collecting petition signatures in 2020. However, that part-time gig quickly evolved into a full-time commitment to campaigning.

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Schwartz says the position of State Committeewoman is an “important but unknown role.” If elected, she would be a liaison between the Palm Beach County GOP and the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF). That overlooked position offers a significant opportunity to secure funding for candidates.

“It’s a very important role where we could get funding for our candidates. The RPOF works to make sure that the allocations that are needed are sent back [to the county GOPs]. So we want to be on that radar. We want to make sure they know that we’re worth the account to invest in and to take time and money and resources.”

With Republican campaigns often dramatically outspent by their Democrat opponents in the county, Schwartz believes she can utilize the role to narrow the gap. Combined with the party’s growing grassroots efforts, the county GOP would become a force to be reckoned with.

“We are trending red, we’re doing a great job,” Schwartz says. “We have momentum going.”

Palm Beach County is on the cusp. While the rest of the state has quickly transformed into a Republican stronghold in recent years, Democrats have so far managed to hold on to the county… but that control is slipping. In 2022, Democrats had a voter registration lead of 110,000 over Republicans. Today, that figure has shrunk to less than 50,000.

A Republican-majority Palm Beach County would have been unthinkable even six years ago. But speaking from experience, Schwartz says that miracles do happen.

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Twenty-six years before launching her campaign, Schwartz was hospitalized following a severe accident. While attending school in Massachusetts, she slipped on a patch of black ice, twisting her back. “I didn’t think anything of it. And I continued on my day and continued for two full weeks,” she said.

“Then one morning I woke up and I literally could not walk… I had slipped a disc and it was so bad that it literally exploded. [The doctors] thought I had complete permanent damage in both my legs and my feet, and I was never going to walk again. So I woke up from surgery and they told me that. And I said, that’s not true.”

But Schwartz never accepted the diagnosis. After three months of physical therapy, she defied all of her doctors’ expectations; she stood up out of her wheelchair. “I don’t remember ever thinking I wasn’t going to walk. It was never an option. It was just, ‘Alright, now I’m walking.'”

Schwartz had been told by her doctors she would never again walk, let alone run. Now, she is proving them wrong by doing both. “I’m a very strong-willed person in general. And so when someone tells me that it’s just whatever, it’s nonsense.”

Schwartz applies that attitude to her work and plans to bring it to the Palm Beach GOP State Committeewoman office.

The GOP primary election for state committeeman is scheduled for August 20. To learn more about Jodi Schwartz, visit her website.

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