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Democratic Club of St. Petersburg Treasurer Accuses Pinellas Party Chair of Defaming John Liccione in Violation of Party By-Laws

Pinellas Democratic Party Chair Jennifer Griffith Gives Speach at the Pinellas Democrat Veteran's Caucus Veteran's Day Picnic
Jennifer Griffith Speaks at Pinellas Democrat Veteran's Caucus Picnic to a Welcoming Audience

Alleges Violations of Party By-Laws in Florida 13th Congressional District 2024 Primary Race


Jim Donelon, Treasurer of the Democratic Club of St. Petersburg and a 3-term former Club president, has taken a bold step by accusing Pinellas Democratic Executive Committee (PDEC) Chair Jennifer Griffith of breaching PDEC and Florida Democratic Party by-laws. Donelon claims that Griffith has shown favoritism towards certain Democratic candidates while subjecting John Liccione and his candidacy to prejudicial and defamatory treatment.

These allegations have come to light amid the hotly contested Florida 13th Congressional District 2024 campaign, where John Liccione seeks to unseat Anna Paulina Luna, referred to as "Putin's MAGA Princess of Chaos."

Jim Donelon authorized the public release of his concerns regarding what he perceives as a smear campaign against my candidacy, the denial of my due process, and violations of my right to equal treatment under Federal law and Party by-laws.


Jim Donelon's Statement

"I've never witnessed such a brazen campaign of defamation and destruction against a Democratic candidate in my over 30 years of service within the party as has just happened to John Liccione and his campaign. This marks the first instance of a 'candidate vetting process' applied at all, let alone unequally, to a Democratic candidate in a contested primary, a practice expressly forbidden by Party by-laws.

The selection of a candidate is the prerogative of Democratic voters in the August primary. The PDEC's role should be to provide all Democratic candidates with the opportunity to inform our voters about their views on critical issues, enabling them to make informed decisions.

I've had the privilege of getting to know John Liccione, a dedicated individual who has honorably served our country and is committed to protecting children. His innovative initiative to address school shootings and child sex trafficking, 'For Every Child a Shield, To Every School a Dog,' is commendable and merits consideration from all quarters, including Second Amendment enthusiasts.

Throughout Pinellas, various Clubs and Caucuses have welcomed candidates to meet, speak, and answer questions. Chair Griffith's attempts to deny Mr. Liccione equal opportunity raises concerns about the party's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her actions, characterized by subterfuge, defamation, and coercion, represent a series of glaring violations of Democratic party rules and principles.

To date, two Democratic organizations in Pinellas County have resisted Chair Griffith's attempts to stifle the Liccione campaign. The Pinellas Democratic Veterans Caucus invited all announced candidates to their Veterans Day picnic, while The Democratic Club of St. Petersburg hosted all four candidates at a cordial meeting, allowing them to make statements and engage with members.


When questioned about their experience with the 'vetting process,' it became evident that one candidate, Mark Weinkrantz, was exempted due to prior party involvement and was afforded due process to address an issue. Regrettably, John Liccione was denied such due process.

This anti-competitive mindset within the Pinellas and Florida Democratic Party has contributed to recent electoral losses, resulting in an extreme right-wing Governor and a supermajority in the State Legislature that has consistently encroached upon the civil rights of Floridians, including women, teachers, minorities, our LGBTQ+ community, and the right for our children to learn accurate American history."

End of Jim Donelon's Statement


John Liccione for Congress

For Media inquiries and information contact John Liccione at 443-698-8156 [email protected] 



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