Politics & Government

Manatee, Sarasota Democratic delegates react to fall of Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Critics shout down Democratic chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at convention breakfast

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Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz addressed a very emotional Florida delegation Monday morning.

After announcing Sunday that she plans to resign amid the release of controversial emails among officials from the Democratic Party, she appeared Monday morning to deliver a speech to her home state delegation.

Shultz was greeted by both cheers and boos as she took to the podium and attempted to address the crowd. Later, Wasserman Schultz said she would not be gaveling in the start of the convention Monday afternoon.

After her speech, delegates from Manatee and Sarasota expressed both remorse and support for the Florida congresswoman.

“I feel bad because it’s disunity, and I will continue to support her as she runs for re-election because she has done a lot for our party,” said Lawrence Jennis, a West Manatee fire commissioner and Hillary Clinton delegate.

Sanders delegate David Beaton, from Sarasota, had mixed emotions about the reactions from other delegate members.

“I’m torn because there had to be a reason she lost her job and sometimes that needs to be vetted,” Beaton said. “People need a clear understanding of why she lost her job.”

“I’m mortified on a human level at the negativity she dealt with during her speech,” said Lucy Lapides, another Clinton delegate. “She showed a lot of courage standing up and speaking to this crowd not knowing what their response would be.”

During the speech, Wasserman Shultz spoke on the success of her work at the Democratic National Committee.

“I thanked President Obama for the honor of serving as the chair of the Democratic National Committee,” Wasserman Shultz said, “and being able to watch his back and bring him across the finish line in 2012, which we did on the shoulders of Florida’s voters.”

She also explained that Clinton has thanked her for her service.

“I committed to her that I would serve as a surrogate throughout this campaign so we can make sure she can build on the progress that we’ve been able to make for the last eight years, because we have a lot of work to do,” Wasserman Schultz said.

Part of the work Wasserman Shultz looks forward to is running for re-election in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District. But for now, the party has other priorities.

“There is a time for protest and a time for unity,” Beaton said. “If Monday is protest, Thursday needs to be unity. Donald Trump is the enemy, not Debbie Wasserman Shultz.”

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