RELEASE: Duval Democrats Receive Awards, Send Large Delegation to Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             

Media Contact: Meredith O’Malley Johnson

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Annual FDP Gala Raises Record-breaking $850,000

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 17, 2013 – Over 20 Duval County Democrats attended the Florida Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Gala in Hollywood, Florida on Saturday, June 15, 2013. The gala was the most successful on record, with over 1,300 attendees from all over the state and $850,000 raised in preparation for the 2014 election cycle. 

Senator Bill Nelson, Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Florida Democratic Party Chair and Jacksonville native Allison Tant spoke at the sold-out gala that featured keynote speaker San Antonio Mayor and rising Democratic star Julian Castro. Mayor Castro spoke about the Democratic Party as a big-tent organization and the party that can ensure future growth and development of the United States.  Possible 2014 Democratic nominees for governor former Governor Charlie Crist, State Senator Nan Rich and Alex Sink were also in attendance at the Gala.

“It was terrific seeing the enthusiasm of Democrats throughout the state looking forward to the 2014 election to remove Governor Rick Scott and his damaging policies from office,” said Duval County Democratic Executive Committee Chair Neil Henrichsen. “We had a strong presence at Jefferson-Jackson weekend by our local Duval Democrats that included our Duval Democratic Party leaders, a large contingent of Jacksonville Young Democrats, University of North Florida College Democrats, State Representatives Reggie Fullwood and Mia Jones, former State Senator Tony Hill, local union leaders and active Democrats.”

Two awards were presented to Duval County delegation members. Duval County Democrat Justin Spiller, second vice-chair of the Duval County Democratic Party, vice-chair of the Florida Democratic Party and outgoing president of the Florida Young Democrats, was awarded Florida Young Democrat of the Year for his myriad work within the local and state Democratic Party and other civic engagement work.  The Jacksonville Young Democrats won Florida Young Democrats chapter of the year. The criterion for the award includes membership expansion, innovation and members taking on public offices and positions within the Democratic Party.

“The Jacksonville Young Democrats continue to be one of the largest and most active Young Democrats groups in the state. I’m proud of our accomplishments and honored that our organization received the Florida Young Democrats Chapter of the Year Award,” said Jacksonville Young Democrats President Joey McKinnon, who accepted the award along with Vice President of External Affairs Meredith O’Malley Johnson, Secretary Joni Poitier and former Vice President of Internal Affairs James Poindexter. “I look forward to building on our success and continuing to increase membership and work hard to get local Democrats elected in Duval County.”