BY ASHLEY THOMAS
The top two spots of the Volusia County Democratic Party have seen a shake-up since February’s election of Vonzelle Johnson as chair and Emma Brinkley as vice chair.
Both officers resigned in recent months and have been replaced by Leslie Pierce as the new chair and Jean Jenner as the vice chair at Monday’s meeting of the Volusia Democratic Executive Committee.
Johnson, a DeLand city commissioner, sent a resignation letter to committee members Oct. 31 explaining that due to a job promotion he was “forced to resign from the chairman’s position within the Volusia Democratic Party. The organization will need someone leading the charge who can be very responsive and on the ground,” the letter stated.
“Unfortunately, I cannot be effective in those regards due to this new undertaking. I shall do what I can to the best of my abilities to help with the transition to a new chairman and continue to support efforts.”
Pierce, a native of Boston who has lived in Volusia County for 25 years, has taken that charge and is ready to move the party forward into the 2014 election cycle and beyond. She was elected vice chair after Brinkley stepped down and as Chair following Johnson’s resignation.
“The room went wild, everyone was all excited,” Pierce told the Daytona Times, referring to the evening she was elected.
“We’re hoping we can take all the momentum and excitement that was in the room Monday night and keep it moving into this next election cycle.”
The party, which is fueled by volunteers, has an office location in DeLand and meets once a month on the Daytona Beach campus of the University of Central Florida at Daytona State College. “We’re going to make sure that everyone has a role,” Pierce said.
“We are putting processes in place, what can be expected of office staff. How we communicate and what we need to do. Our volunteers have been very busy because of the transition and the reorganization of the party,” Pierce added, stating that Jenner has expertise in multiple areas that will be very beneficial in 2014. “It’s a big job.”
Pierce also believes transparency is an important component within the party and that organization will be a key to democratic wins in the future. “Everyone is eager. We will put a Democratic governor in the governors mansion,” she added.
“Our committees will be forming the first of the year. Our goal is to get out the vote, because when Democrats vote Democrats win.”