Lisa King will resign FDP committeewoman post if elected Duval Dems chair

Lisa King

A bit of late-breaking controversy has emerged between Hazel Gillis and Lisa King in the race for Duval Democratic Party Chairwoman.

Some members of the local party have raised issue with King running for the chair while serving as a committeewoman in the Florida Democratic Party.

Florida Politics talked to King about it Friday, and she says that if she is elected chair on Monday evening, she will resign the state post — but not immediately.

She doesn’t have to resign at all, she notes; bylaws permit serving in both roles, and that happens elsewhere in the state.

But she has a salient reason to stay as committeewoman for a couple of months, she says.

“I feel a responsibility to get through the new state party chair’s first meeting,” King said, to “ensure the issue of sexual harassment is addressed.”

“I want an opportunity to be there and say my piece,” King said, describing herself as a “leader of the conversation” on the issue of sexual harassment, which she wants to “bring in for a landing.”

King doesn’t expect the issue, which she sees as “more important than personal political considerations,” to be addressed at the Dec. vote.

Stephen Bittel left the chair of the Florida Democratic Party after multiple allegations of being  “creepy” and “demeaning” toward women in the workplace. King ran unsuccessfully against Bittel for that position, and she was motivated to run in part because Bittel’s reputation preceded him.

The state party chair election is Dec. 9, and the first meeting under new leadership is in February.

King “doubts” she would stay after the first meeting of the state party under that new chair, as there would be “so much work as [county] chair” that she would have “no time to serve in both roles.”

King isn’t worried about the dual roles she would have, if elected chair, through at least February. She notes that the “major funders in Jacksonville were also funders in [her] state party race.”

If King loses the chair vote Monday, and Gillis wins, King will stay on as committeewoman.

King and Gillis are running in a special election because Sen. Audrey Gibson resigned the chair, after being chosen as Leader Designate of the Senate Democrat Caucus.

A.G. Gancarski

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

One comment

  • Marcelle Bessman

    December 3, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    This is not a popularity contest between candidates. It is a difference of view of what a political party is. Being elected an officer of a political party puts the successful candidate on notice that he/she has the responsibility of leading the organization in its fight to protect the constitutional rights and well being of our constituency. This means the leader has to promote visibility and availability in the community to help and provide information to our constituents…to our community. We need a leader who is: 1. inclusive of volunteers not exclusionary; 2. ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with all of us to support and promote Democratic values. Hazel Gillis has proven through exercising leadership of the Duval County Democratic Black Caucus that she has those important qualities.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Joe Henderson, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Gray Rohrer, Aimee Sachs, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn