In the Dec. 11 edition, an article written by Goliath Davis entitled “Hanisee Ousted” there was a reference made to my role as Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee Vice Chair and the situation with Rev. Manuel Sykes and the previous Chair, Mark Hanisee. It’s important that I address these concerns and as current chair go on record with where I stand.
Mark Hanisee worked for four years to advance the party and Democrats appreciate his service, but I am not Mark Hanisee. While I respect Mark’s contributions, I have never been comfortable with the way this unfortunate event was handled. Reverend Sykes is a respected member of our community who has worked for years to improve the lives of many. It is a rare individual who is willing to stand up and run for office and one whom we should respect. I deeply regret the situation, and I am committed to improving relationships in Pinellas County.
I have met with Rev. Sykes, and we are committed to working together to advance the issues that are important to the African-American community and to the Democratic Party. Rev. Sykes has a great vision about where the help is needed and how we can best get there. I look forward to working with him to advance critical issues.
The Democratic Party is the “big tent party.” We will strive to provide a welcoming environment for all and work for the issues of all families.
Current chair of the Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee