Duval Dems elect Audrey Gibson as new party chair


A new era began for the Duval Democrats Monday night.

As expected, the Duval Democrats elected Sen. Audrey Gibson to be the new party chair.

The Democratic conclave saw a majority of Democratic city council members on hand: John CrescimbeniJoyce MorganReggie Brown, Garrett Dennis and Reggie Gaffney. School Board Chair Paula Wright was also on hand.

(Notable: Councilwoman Morgan’s council aide, Darren Mason, was one of two declared candidates for vice-chair going into the evening.)

Chair candidate Jimmy Deininger spoke first, describing a desire to serve the “working class and black communities.”

Deininger described the Hart Expressway offramp reconstruction as a “$50 million bridge to nowhere,” after maligning establishment Democrats for supporting the pension referendum.

Gibson spoke next.

“I’m Audrey Gibson, not Sen. Audrey Gibson tonight … the way you see me is the way I am every day.”

Gibson vowed to “take the DEC to the next level — collectively,” in a spirited speech full of laugh and applause lines.

“I want to make sure that we include all generations,” Gibson said. “Many things are possible together.”

After Gibson’s speech, and a request by Party Chair Neil Henrichsen for media to leave, a motion to close nominations for chair passed.

The final tally: Gibson over Deininger, 66 to 20.

And with that, she took over the meeting.

In other elections, Darren Mason was elected to be the vice chair. Lisa King was re-elected to her committee woman slot, with her husband John Parker joining her as a committeeman.

As the hour got past 8:00 p.m, Gibson noted that it was “wine time,” and expedited the proceedings.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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