ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The head of the Palm Beach Democratic Party has been elected as leader of the state party, less than a month after the former chairman resigned.
Terrie Rizzo , who began her political career as a campaign volunteer a little more than a dozen years ago, was selected Saturday by Florida Democrats to lead their party for the next three years.
Rizzo, chairwoman of the Palm Beach County Democrats, easily beat Brevard County Democratic Chairwoman Stacey Patel in an 830-291 vote by the party’s executive committee at the Rosen Centre Hotel.
Rizzo replaces Stephen Bittel, who was elected as the party’s chairman less than a year ago.
Rizzo has been the chairwoman of the Palm Beach Democrats since 2012. In her acceptance speech, she said she began her journey in the state party as a volunteer on John Kerry‘s presidential campaign in 2004. She later won election as precinct committeewoman and then as the county vice chairwoman, before becoming the leader of the Palm Beach Democrats shortly before the 2012 presidential election.
“This is what the Democratic Party should be like, where people can start at the bottom and rise to the top,” Rizzo said, adding she was “overwhelmed and very humbled” by her election.
At one time, four major candidates, all women, were vying to replace Bittel.