Duval Democrats and Republicans both went with familiar quantities in their leadership elections Monday.
A newly elected state legislator will keep his position as the Chair of the Republican Party of Duval County, while the Democrats likewise kept their Chair.
Rep. Dean Black will get another year as Chair of the Duval GOP, overcoming a challenge from Marty Barker by a 196-84 margin.
“I am humbled and honored to have been re-elected as Chairman of the Duval County Republican Executive Committee. This is the most hardworking and patriotic collection of men and women Northeast Florida has to offer, and it has been my privilege to fight alongside them to re-elect Governor DeSantis, Senator Rubio, Sheriff Waters, and making Jacksonville RED,” Black asserted.
“Now, our entire focus will be to re-mobilize this awesome political machine towards electing Republicans to lead our city in 2023. We’re just getting started,” Black asserted.
Black was elected to represent House District 15, which encompasses Nassau and parts of northern and western Duval County. The re-election as Party Chair comes just days after he was selected as the Vice-Chair of the Duval County Legislative Delegation.
As buzz grew that Black would indeed face a leadership challenge, albeit from a candidate who did not run, Mayor Lenny Curry offered a strong endorsement of him.
“Dean Black focused on fundraising & get out the vote activities. Decades of my predecessors (local GOP chairs) & I did the same. The local GOP lost its mission in recent years and got bogged down fighting within. Dean Black got us back to fundamentals. That is winning elections,” tweeted Curry, a former Chair of not only the Duval Republicans but also of the Republican Party of Florida.
After the win, Curry credited “blocking and tackling” and “mission-based party leadership” in a celebratory tweet.
The other Republican elections lacked drama. In the race for Vice-Chair, incumbent Steve Adams rebuffed the challenge of Reginald Blount by a 188-67 margin. Blount is running for City Council, and at least one critic said this loss wasn’t a good look ahead of that contest next year.
Secretary Betty Bentley and Treasurer Margaret Hartman were re-elected by acclamation.
On the Democratic side, Daniel Henry retains the Chair. Nekinia Wright will be the first vice chair. Cole Gabriel will serve as Secretary. Treasurer Hanna Moore, meanwhile, was re-elected.