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Political Party with Adam Smith: Pinellas Democrats spur anger after electing new officers

Adam Smith

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The liberal, Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic party has been asserting itself in local party elections across Florida, and in Pinellas County generating some ill will.

Progressive organizer Jeff Cox last week easily unseated Pinellas Vice Chairman Johnny Boykins, one of the few Black millennials visible and active with the local Democratic Executive Committee. Cox, a white millennial, discusses the controversy in the latest episode of Political Party with Adam Smith.

“I didn’t actually sleep the night of the election because I knew I was going to win. I had already counted the votes. And I knew it would  cause some pain and some hurt,” said Cox. “All I can say is I’m going to do the work. I will use all the skills I have to get out the vote and ensure there is better representation where possible.”

The Dec. 7 Pinellas party election saw Chairwoman Barbara Scott reelected, but multiple progressive candidates unseat established officers. It prompted some heated backlash.

“What happened tonight was the progressives decided that they do not believe in Black representation. This is not a value I can uphold,” former party secretary Grieta Patenaude posted on Facebook. “If we believe in diversity then we need to live diversity.”

Boykins wished Cox well on Medium.

Cox said he is committed to diversity and praised Boykins.

“I was asked to step up, and I felt that it was time for me to serve if I could,” he said.

Click on the arrow above to watch the full interview.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Kurt Donley

    December 16, 2020at7:19 pm

    Progressive wing, not Liberal. I associate Liberal with the do nothing establishment that wants nothing more than status quo and atta boys for tokenism. Smart I guess, if they actually solved problems who would need them any more? How would they appease the big dollar donors pulling their strings.

    Einstein was right on two counts:
    You can’t solve problems the same way you created them
    and doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results is insane.

    Time to try something different. My hopes this nudges the promising Johnny Boykins to become more progressive and get back in it. I also hope this emboldens young Black Progressives to step up and actually move the move the needle.

    Not everybody can be Nina Turner, but the world would be a better place if their were a hell of a lot more people like her. IJS

    I hope

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