By Jacob Engels
Sean Ashby has dropped his campaign to become Chairman of the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee. Ashby, who had been campaigning heavily for the post with the backing of current chair Scott Randolph and many grassroots DEC members, has decided instead to endorse former Randolph aide Carlos Smith, who currently serves as the legislative aide to State Representative Joe Saunders. Smith is also a UCF alumni, resides in Union Park, and a veteran of Equality Florida where he served in several leadership roles focused on public policy, civic engagement, fundraising and electoral work including GOTV.
"I have chosen to not pursue the party chair position any further at this time, in order to work on several exciting projects as we enter the 2014 election season. I will continue to be active in our community and fight for what's right for Central Floridians. Carlos will be a phenomenal chairman and help improve on the gains we saw last election cycle in Orange County" said Ashby.
Carlos Smith welcomed Ashby's endorsement and talked with the East Orlando Post about his vision for the Orange County Democratic Party Executive Committee -
"In 2012, we built together a machine that led us to historic democratic gains for Orange County. In this election cycle, Orange County is ground zero for the gubernatorial race and some of the most hotly contested legislative races in the state. Our Democratic incumbents and targeted races need to have the support of the OCDEC in their GOTV efforts to help push them over the finish line. It will take focused leadership, aggressive organizing and coalitions, but I am confident that together we can accomplish those goals.
"My legislative and electoral experiences in Orlando and in Tallahassee have given me a really unique perspective on what it takes to win, defend our electoral gains, achieve our fundraising goals, and bring together our local Democratic family. Democrats have already seen me in action and know what I can bring to the table. That's why I'm confident they'll choose me to be their new leader!"
With Smith's fundraising prowess and legislative-electoral background, this race looks to be the right choice for him. Several democratic volunteers and activists reached by the East Orlando Post have expressed excitement about his campaign for chairman and expect that it will be well received with local democrats.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org