Certification of Valerie Duhl as State Committeewoman for the Volusia County Democratic Party

Thursday, December 24th, 2020

Dear Democrats,

I hereby certify that Ms. Valerie Duhl has won the election to be the Volusia County Democratic Executive Committee’s State Committeewoman to the Florida Democratic Party at our party’s December 8th, 2020 reorganizational meeting, which was conducted via Zoom teleconference.

Due to the unprecedented and tragic COVID-19 pandemic, our party’s reorganizational meeting was held virtually. Two practice sessions were held to prepare our 156 electors to participate. At
our reorganizational meeting, there were 71 votes recorded for Ms. Valerie Duhl and 62* recorded for Ms. Susanne Raines. Allegedly, some voting members could not sign on to the actual meeting. In an attempt to enfranchise these individuals, provisional balloting was suggested and sent out. There is no provisional ballot process defined in either the bylaws or by the previous leadership. Additionally, it was discovered there was a campaign to solicit and collect “provisional ballots” continuing into the next day for people who may or may not have had technological issues accessing the meeting at Candidate Raines’ direction.

In my review of the Volusia County Democratic Executive Committee’s bylaws, the Florida Democratic Party, and Florida Statutes, there is no mention of provisional ballots. Additionally, the aforementioned campaign after the election is not consistent with any election process. Therefore, I am compelled to only count votes properly cast recorded during our reorganizational meeting. Additionally, during my exhaustive review, the Supervisor of Elections, Lisa Lewis, informed me that there are only three valid precinct committeemen for Precinct 602 (Daytona Beach). This revelation means one individual was allowed by the former chair to cast a vote in error. The votes cast by this individual are stricken from the final vote tallies.

Congratulations, Ms. Valerie Duhl! This timely decision ensures that the Volusia County Democratic Party will receive full representation in the Florida Democratic Party.

Dr. Richard Thripp
Chair of the Volusia County Democratic Party

* With the removal of an invalid vote explained in paragraph 3.

Click here for a PDF version of this announcement.

Announcing 7 Committee Chairs

The following was first announced December 15th, 2020, and revised December 24th, 2020, on the basis of our bylaws being unclear as to whether a non-DEC member could serve on a committee. Out of an abundance of caution, on December 23rd, 2020, Mr. Matt Mazer resigned as Membership and Credentials Committee Chair and Mr. Kirk Hall stepped up to Chair this committee, and Ms. Elizabeth Atlee Hall resigned as Outreach Committee Chair. We do have the option of appointing them to the DEC by floor vote at our January 25th, 2021 meeting.

I am pleased to announce that the following individuals have agreed to serve as chairs of 6 of our 12 standing committees, as defined by our most recent bylaws (2003):

Mr. Jim Gangitano, Rules Committee Chair
Mr. Scott Cleary, Education Committee Chair
Ms. Telcyn Smith, Audit Committee Chair
Mr. Clifton Roby, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair
Mr. William Bliss, Information Technology Committee Chair
Mr. Kirk Hall, Membership and Credentials Committee Chair

In addition, Ms. Mary Thomas will serve as Voter Registration Committee Chair.

Thank you for your service and your diligent efforts. As we go forward during this holiday break, we will be working to recruit members for these and other committees, to organize better, and to build systems for engagement and outreach efforts in 2021 and beyond.

We are planning to overhaul our website including new tools and pages to learn about and join Volusia County’s Democratic clubs and caucuses, to learn about being an appointed precinct captain and help our approximately 150 elected precinct captains succeed, and more.

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