Democrats name local party chair Phil Giorno as replacement candidate in House District 27

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With just two months before the November election, Phil Giorno, chair of Volusia County’s Democratic Executive Committee, has been selected to replace Dennis Mulder on the ballot in the race for House District 27.

Giorno won 35 of 63 votes cast by the Volusia DEC on Thursday. His name has been forwarded to the state party’s attorney for review and certification, said Jean Jenner, an Ormond Beach Democrat.

The vote was conducted via e-mail and conference call because so many of Volusia’s DEC is in Charlotte, North Carolina for the Democratic National Convention.

Democrats view HD 27 as a prime pickup opportunity, with registered Democrats outnumbering registered Republicans by about 5 percentage points in the district. But they lost a potentially ideal candidate in Mulder, the former mayor of Deltona. Deltona residents make up more than half of the voters in the district.

Mulder posted a Facebook message that said he made the “reluctant” decision because of medical issues involving his son. “

I can no longer in good conscience be absent from his life at such an important time, neither can I ask Heather (Mulder’s wife) to saddle these added stresses alone,” the post said. Mulder was slated to run against Deltona Republican David Santiago in the newly redrawn district.

Rep. Dorothy Hukill, a Port Orange Republican who is running for the Senate, has represented much of the area during the past eight years.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.