Duval Republican chair calls for Duval Democrats’ chair, committeeman to resign

Karyn Morton

Karyn Morton, chair of the Duval County Republicans, called Monday for the resignation or removal of the chair and committeeman of the Duval County Democrats.

Committeeman John Parker used the phrase “colored people” at a dinner in January, leading to a complaint from party member James Morton in March.

Soon afterward, calls for Parker to resign came from Lydia Hudson, president of the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida, and other Democrats.

“Racist words, especially when used repeatedly, spring from a racist heart. Those who cover for them or refuse to act are just as guilty as the one who spoke. It is even more disturbing when this is done by leaders within a political party,” Morton contends.

“The Democrat Black Caucus of Florida and the Duval Black Caucus are correct to demand the immediate resignation of Duval Democrat State Committeeman John Parker. They are also correct in calling for the resignation of his wife, Duval Democrat Chairman Lisa Kingwho condoned his actions for over two months, taking no action, making no statement. Both share the guilt and are complicit. Florida Democrat statewide leaders should act to remove them both if they do not resign,” Morton wrote.

King has yet to go public with her thought process on this matter. Parker told us Friday that he had no intention to resign, that he believed the “matter was resolved,” and that his speech reflected being “ignorant” of the “offensive” phrasing.

“I believed the matter was resolved and both these men understood that I had no malice and simply misspoke using a term that I never use but admit that I was ignorant to the fact that it was offensive. I said ‘colored people’ instead of ‘people of color.’ I never use the word ‘coloreds,’ plural. That’s all documented in my apology letter to the president of the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida, Ms. Lydia Hudson,” Parker said.

Some observers liken this situation to that faced by Duval Republicans in the wake of the Ferguson verdict and riots.

The Duval County GOP was shaken by a scandal involving a party officer tweeting, regarding the riots in Ferguson: “A suggestion for Ferguson — fire hoses. Grt big fire hoses, serious water pressure. Knock those thugs over. They probly need a shower anyway.”

Since then, that party official left party leadership … but only after weeks of media outcry that brought a national focus on to the Duval County GOP. She is still a member of the party’s executive committee, however.

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


  • Frankie M.

    April 2, 2018 at 11:29 am

    This is like the pot calling the kettle black. Is what he said worse than anything that’s come out of the POTUS mouth? The whole GOP operation would be done. There’d me nobody left.

  • Peter Harding

    April 2, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    If the Republican party said the same thing about their party leader I then and only then would believe they were sincere in this issue.

  • Peter Harding

    April 2, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    If the Republican party said the same thing about their party leader I then and only then would I believe they were sincere in this issue.

  • Mary

    April 2, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    He needs to resign. From what I understand, he has a history of making racist remarks and pushing regressive policies. He is not in support of strong labor laws either. These dinosaurs need to go, and give way to progressive leadership that’s in step with progressive policies, like strong pro-labor laws, unions, pro-environment, health care, reproductive rights, LGBTQ, etc. Anyone should look into how little protection employees have in Florida and with how many abuses employers can get away with. Of course, because of our racist history, African Americans and other minorities are way more impacted by unfair laws. We need strong labor laws asap!
    Both he and his wife need to go because they’re holding the party back.

Comments are closed.


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