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Ione Townsend


Ione Townsend, mother of five sons, served as a senior executive in two medical institutions, with many awards and gubernatorial appointments in Maine. She is a double certified nurse practitioner.

In Florida she became involved in politics in 2008 in Pasco County. In 2012 she became 1st Vice Chair of the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee in 2014, and Chair in November of 2015. Under her leadership, the party has notched many wins and out-raised the Republican Party in fundraising.

She reoriented the Hillsborough County Democratic Party to a county party, recognizing that 64% of all Democratic voters reside in unincorporated Hillsborough County.

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Dr. Patty Ball Thomas


Patty Ball Thomas, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Elementary Education.  Dr. Thomas has an extensive background in Florida’s system of public education.  In addition to her professorial pursuits at Florida A & M University, she has worked in the public school systems of Duval, Okeechobee and Leon counties and with the Florida Department of Education as a reading consultant and program administrator in early childhood and elementary education.  Dr. Thomas earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Florida A & M University, a Master’s degree in Reading at Florida State University and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at Florida A& M University. 

She was appointed by Governor Crist to serve as a Commissioner on the Florida Human Relations Commission. She also served as a Commissioner on the Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.


JoAnne DeVries


JoAnne DeVries has been Chair of the Sarasota County Democratic Party for five years and during that time has increased voter turnout among Democrats across the county, as well as volunteer mobilization.  Currently, she holds the positions of Treasurer of the Democratic County Chairs Association and Chair of the DCCA voter registration committee. She is also a board member of the FDP’s Campaign Committee and Chair of the FDP’s voter registration subcommittee.  Finally, as a longtime disability rights activist on behalf of hearing-impaired persons, JoAnne is a board member of the Hearing Loss Association of Sarasota/Manatee.

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