Hazouri Seeks Resignation from Dem. Party Chair Over Redistricting Fight

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Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri repeated allegations Monday against the chair of the Duval County Democratic Party. 

At issue are conflicting accounts of a January conversation between the party chair and Republican Councilman Rory Diamond over the upcoming redistricting of Jacksonville’s City Council seats. Council President Hazouri and other Council Democrats say the pair were involved in a backroom effort to manipulate the redistricting process. 

Hazouri has asked for Henry to resign. 

“I don’t want there to be any kind of a taint on that process or anyone challenging the integrity of what we’re doing,” Hazouri said Monday on WJCT’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross. 

Hazouri also asked the Republican Party to discipline Diamond for overstepping the redistricting process. 

Democratic Party Chair Daniel Henry has a different account of the meeting. He says Councilman Diamond approached him, but Henry turned him down. 

“I received an invitation by Councilman Diamond to have drinks in late January. In that conversation he blindsided me with an offer to work together on redistricting. I told him I wasn’t interested and declined the offer,” Henry said in an interview with WJCT News. “Subsequent to that, Councilman [Garrett] Dennis found out about the meeting. He claimed I accepted the offer, which is inaccurate.” 

Dennis is a Democrat and the chair of the City Council Redistricting Committee. 

In a statement to WJCT News, Diamond said, “Other than to deny this silliness, I don’t comment on Democratic Party squabbles.” 

Redistricting will begin in earnest as early as fall of 2021 once data from the 2020 census has been made available. 

Contact Sydney Boles at sboles@wjct.org, or on Twitter at @sydneyboles.