Hacker leaks Democratic Party files on Florida congressional races

A hacker associated with leaking internal documents from the Democratic Party has done it again, this time posting files from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee regarding several Florida races. 

Hacker Guccifer 2.0, who some suspect is affiliated with Russian intelligence, dropped documents on candidates in congressional races for the 7th, 10th, 13th, 18th and 26th districts of Florida.

"Here are the DCCC docs on Florida: reports, memos, briefings, dossiers, etc.," Guccifer 2.0 writes. "You can have a look at who you are going to elect now. It may seem the congressional primaries are also becoming a farce."

Central Florida includes the 7th and 10th district, with many of the documents focused on Democratic candidates: Susannah Randolph, a seasoned political operative and former district director for U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson; Bob Poe, former Florida Democratic Party chair; and Val Demings, former Orlando Police chief. 

The 10th district, held by Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, is currently in a bitter Democratic primary between Poe, Demings, state Sen. Geraldine Thompson and local attorney Fatima Fahmy. After Demings was given a prime-time speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention, her opponents called foul, saying party officials had already picked a favorite. The files released by the hacker show the DCCC thinks Demings has great candidate profile but "is not a very strong fundraiser." The DCCC predicts Poe might have a shot if he spends $3 million to $4 million in the race and Thompson stays, thereby "splitting the African American vote and putting up large margins with white voters." The hacker also released opposition research on Poe that says "from Demings." The document focuses on Poe's struggle to lead Florida Democrats in the early 2000s and an alcohol addiction fueled by coming to terms with being gay, the latter which Poe has been open about. 

In the 7th district, which is currently held by U.S. Rep. John Mica, the DCCC files show they were trying to persuade Poe or Randolph to leave their races in the 10th and 9th district, respectively, to unseat the Republican incumbent. The party ultimately could not convince either of them to move and instead recruited newcomer Stephanie Murphy. Files released by the hacker show the DCCC compiled background research on Randolph that noted she was a lobbyist, political director and legislative director for the controversial group ACORN, and that her husband, when he was a state representative, tried to get funding for ACORN in Florida's budget. The document also says Randolph defended Grayson for a controversial ad that called his then-opponent Daniel Webster the nickname "Taliban Dan," and knocked Randolph for "a tendency to use and promote profane language," such as on Twitter, where she called Gov. Rick Scott a "real Florida douchebag." 

The DCCC did not confirm the documents' legitimacy, saying in a statement that it was "the target of a cybersecurity incident" and was cooperating with law enforcement.