Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Citing infighting, Democratic leader quits Hernando post

BROOKSVILLE — Citing a party culture of infighting and power struggling, Cy Wingrove, chairman of the county's Democratic Executive Committee resigned his seat this week.

In a fiery, two-page diatribe to the committee members mailed out Thursday, he detailed his efforts to bring the party together to elect Democrats to public offices and how he met with opposition by cliques of members "determined to rule or ruin.''

While the resignation was surprising to Harvey Martin, president of the Hernando County Democratic Club, he said it was not a total shock. Also a member of the executive committee, Martin said members had hoped that all the conflicts had been settled.

"I guess he just got fed up with it,'' he said.

"It's very bad timing,'' Martin said, noting that the primary election is just two weeks away and all the active party members are working to get absentee ballots into the hands of voters and get them to the polls to early vote.

"Right now everything needs to be cohesive,'' Martin said.

But cohesiveness is the one thing Wingrove's letter does not describe among the party's leadership.

"When I ran for the office of chair of the Hernando County Democratic Executive Committee, I was convinced I could make a difference,'' he started out.

"I strongly believe in order to have a viable local party, it is necessary to set aside the pettiness and bitterness exemplified by small groups of party members determined to have their way at the expense of party unity and electoral success,'' he wrote. "I truly envisioned this happening in Hernando County, despite the well-established and well-known divisions in the party here.''

But Wingrove, who was Powell Middle School principal before he retired, said that has not been his experience.

He details efforts he made to improve the executive committee's unity, financial picture and effectiveness but notes that "there continues to be a constant power struggle that drains energy from the members and the chair.''

Wingrove, who was elected to the chairmanship in late 2008, notes that people he thought were his supporters, it turns out, "were only backing me because they felt I might somehow eliminate their opposing factions.''

He details how as he tried to unify the factions, "a constant string of e-mails was immediately initiated to Tallahassee condemning me … and still they bicker among themselves and badmouth me.''

Abusive phone calls and e-mails, hopes by faction members that Wingrove's fundraising efforts would fail and a general lack of support haunted his every move, the former chairman described.

He concludes the letter stating that he provided the detail so that his fellow members would understand why he chose to resign. He also noted he would continue to actively work for the election of Democrats and the best interests of the people.

"As we all know from life's experiences, to acquiesce is to endorse and I refuse to acquiesce to the divisive cliques within the Hernando County Democratic Executive Committee,'' Wingrove wrote.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.

Citing infighting, Democratic leader quits Hernando post 08/13/10 [Last modified: Friday, August 13, 2010 7:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case


    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  2. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.
  3. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101
  4. Hernando sheriff: Orlando mother turns in 18-year-old son in pawn shop burglary


    Times Staff Writer

    SPRING HILL — Hernando deputies have arrested a fourth person in connection with a pawn shop burglary, but they really didn't have to do anything to find him.

    Elijah Pickard, 18, of Orlando, was turned in by his own mother in connection with a pawn shop burglary, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office [Courtesy of Hernando County Sheriff's Office]