Some state democratic leaders criticize new appointment

State Democratic Vice Chair Barbara Blackmon says Franks’ appointment Thursday of Eduardo Martinez as Interim Executive Vice Chair was unlawful and unconstitutional. Blackmon says Martinez was not a member of the administrative committee, therefore cannot serve on it.

She also says, since Franks is white, according to the State Democratic Constitution, the Executive Vice Chair should be African American. “A Hispanic is not defined as a race,” Blackmon says. “It’s defined as an ethnicity. You cannot inject a Hispanic in that position.”

In Franks’ response, he states, “In following the Constitutional requirements for that office, I appointed someone of opposite race than me by selecting the first Hispanic member of the Mississippi Democratic Party to ever serve in a leadership position. I consulted with the officers of the Executive Committee, including Vice Chairwoman Blackmon, before making my selection.