By Jacob Engels
Outgoing Orange County Democratic Executive Committee Chair & Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph made his endorsement of Sean Ashby as his successor official last night via facebook. Ashby, who recently dropped out of the Orange County Commission District 4 race following encouragement from local party leaders and activists to run for DEC Chair, has been aggressively courting executive committee members since announcing his candidacy earlier this week.
From Scott Randolph’s facebook page —
“Tomorrow will be an official notice of election for the next Chair of the Orange County Democratic Party. Taking over the local party in November 2011, we recruited a talented, diverse Board that I am proud of every day. I trust these young people to be the face of the Democratic Party for years to come-Carlos Equality Smith, Anna Vishkaee Eskamani, Ida Vishkaee Eskamani, Amy Ritter, Andrew M. Bell, Susannah Lindberg Randolph, Juan Lopez, Landra Robeson, Vivian Rodriguez, William Edward Lawson, and many more.
These Board members have braved the endless attacks by “Sources” and other desperate, pathetic blogs that are written by people not part of this community. I’m proud they have. We then raised $200,000 in 10 months thanks to all of you and helped flip the Orange County delegation to Democratic majority for the first time in more than 30 years. We were one of 4 counties to maintain the same margin for Obama in 2012 as 2008.
Our focus on absentee ballot requests helped seal the three toss up state house seats that we won and have set us on a successful path for the 2014 off-year election. We have great candidates in county commission races. Someone has criticized me as “not leaving any candidates.” No, I left you incumbents.
And we have great incumbents to protect. But the DEC needs a steady hand going into 2014, which is why I’m fully 100% backing Sean Ashby for the next DEC Chair. If you’re a member, please come out and support Sean and the continued success of the local Democratic Party in 2014 on Monday, October 21st.”
END RANDOLPH ENDORSEMENT —
So far Ashby has not faced any resistance from other DEC members in his campaign for Chair, and is extremely well liked by party “big wigs” and activists alike. In his campaign for State House against Tom Goodson in 2012, Ashby was able to not only cut into the Republican vote in a Republican heavy district, but only came up a few thousand votes short out of 80,000 cast after facing Goodson’s $250,000 warchest and last minute several hundred thousand dollar injection from the Republican Party of Florida. This speaks to his ability to build a strong coalition on a shoestring budget and possibly flip registered republicans to the democratic party, increasing the already impressive voter registration advantage Democrats have in Orange County.
His consistent focus on workers rights and bringing light to the “Textgate” scandal (Ashby filed paperwork requesting an investigation before State Attorney Jeff Ashton announced his formal investigation into the matter), and that will shore up his support in the ultra liberal wing of the party, which will make him a versatile and formidable Chairman for the local democrats.
Look out Orange County Republicans, in a few weeks you wont have that “liberal firebrand” Scott Randolph to rail against. Sean Ashby is your worst nightmare.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post. Along with the Post, he owns several other businesses and is currently enrolled at Valencia College. Jacob has lived in Avalon Park since it’s founding and enjoys playing with his black Labradoodle Jasper, listening to indie rock, and seeking out new business ventures. He can be reached at email@example.com