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Leon County Democratic Executive Committee Votes Out Chairman

By: Amy Long
By: Amy Long

UPDATE 12/10
Larry Simmons, the former Leon County Democratic Executive Committee Chair, held a press conference this afternoon 12/10 to talk about what he's calling a bogus election. But - he's not the only one.

Some members of the Leon County D-E-C are also pondering why they did not get a chance to vote on the newly-elected panel, which was voted in on Monday 12/6.

As Committee Chair, Simmons changed the original election date from December 6th to December 13th, but some members still showed up to cast their votes on the 6th ... and Simmons says the election of those new members is valid ... although some are hoping the elections can be overturned.

Michael Brown DEC Parliamentarian, "We're really hoping that the membership that has been dually noticed of this meeting on the 13th, will show up and will have a quorum and that we'll be able to elect permanent officers."

Members of the committee are still holding a meeting on Monday Dec. 13th at First Presbyterian on North Adams at 7pm.

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"I do feel that there were some folks that wanted to participate and they didn't have the opportunity." says Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Williams.

Monday night members with the Leon Democratic Executive Committee held elections- One of the positions voted to change hands was the chairman- That vote ousted Larry Simmons and brought in Teri Cariota- BUT Controversy surrounds who did and did not show up to vote.

Chairman Larry Simmons says, "There were over 50 some odd people plus elected officials who were not there."

Chairman Elect Teri Cariota says, "I made arrangements for another location and my first obligation was to notify my supporters. However, I did contact the communications chair."

Official Leon County DEC post cards show and members all agree the first scheduled election date was Monday December 6. However, Simmons says he changed that date and sent a post card in ample time to meet guideline requirements to reschedule the vote to Monday December 13th.

"Our bylaws say 7 days advance notice." says Simmons

"They're saying 7 days notice. I'm told 14 days is required." says Cariota.

To some- the vote is said and done.. but Simmons thinks there's another issue at hand. "All you had to to was have gone to that meeting and seen that there were over 90 percent Caucasians there."

Cariota says, "That's not me at all. This is not about race. I'm a member of the human race."

Both members campagined on trust, leadership, and credibility ... Now, other members hope the party will stay strong despite this uncertainty.
REP Williams says, "Whatever happens needs to happen fairly quickly and we need to get a resolution to what every problem is there."

Simmons says one of his options is to appeal the vote. Meanwhile, Cariota won in a landslide, beating Jacob Eaton for the chairmanship.


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