BY JAMES HARPER
The 2012 election season seems to be in full gear with a number of can- didates announcing bids for city, county and school board seats. Elections this year will include a high number of local Blacks who have decided to run for office.
Stories about some of the candidates appear in today’s Daytona Times.
Blacks also are taking an active role in registering people to vote as well as getting them to participate in the election process.
Emma Brinkley, a volunteer for the Volusia County Democratic Party, and Norma Bland, president of the Citizens Coalition, were organizers of a campaign kickoff event last Saturday at the Dicker- son Center to help re-elect President Barack Obama.
Congresswoman and Democratic National Convention Chair Debbie Wasser- man Schultz was the guest speaker at the event held in Midtown, the heart of the city’s Black community.
Many Blacks were in attendance at the event, which allowed only invited guests and was closed to the press.
One change in the Florida election process this year is early voting, which has been reduced from two weeks to eight days and eliminated on the Sunday before Election Day in November.
The League of Women Voters, the NAACP and the ACLU are suing Florida over the change including one that requires a government-issued photo ID or proof of citizenship to vote. A three-judge federal panel is expected to rule on Florida’s elections law changes.
Locally, the Daytona Beach mayor’s race is getting the most attention as two former Black commissioners are among the announced candidates hoping to replace Mayor Glenn Ritchey, who is not seeking another term.
Gwen Azama Edwards, Derrick Henry along with current Zone 1 Commissioner
Edith Shelly recently reported their fourth-quarter contribution.
As of the Times’ press time, Shelley had raised $13,275 with $5,000 of it a loan to herself.
Coming in second in contributions is Gwen Azama-Edwards with $12,490, all in donations.
Derrick Henry rounds out the announced candidates with contributions
totaling $7,110 of which $2,000 is a loan from Henry to himself.
Although a number of candidates have announced their intentions to run for office, qualifying actually is June 4 to June 8.
In the case of the Daytona Beach mayoral race, if no candidate receives 50 per- cent plus one vote of votes cast, the top two vote-getters will face-off in the general election on Nov. 6.