Chair: Diana Williams
Diana Williams is deeply committed to Marion County politics. She has served on the DEC for 12 years, recently re-elected as Chair, and seeks to set a stage of inclusion and diversity by supporting social and economic equality opportunities for all. As Program Chair for the Marion County DEC, Diana diligently provided programs to educate and enlighten members by selecting topics that helped to broaden their views, understanding, and knowledge of said topics
Diana is a multi-tasker. As a mother of four, she manages a professional career (as a Financial Advisor for 28 years) and sits on many boards of directors. She has been active with the DEC fundraisers, involved with the local affiliate and state boards of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), and is currently serving on the boards of the Salvation Army, Historic Ocala Preservation Society (HOPS), and the Independent Citizens Referendum Oversight Committee (ICROC) for school board tax. She has been a member of Kiwanis since 1991, is a member of the Ocala Women’s Network (OWN), helped start the Democratic Women’s Club, is a former Supreme Court Mediator, and is a member of Friends of Silver Springs State Park.
Diana believes the plan for moving forward after the election is best expressed by RBG’s quote: “Fight for the things that you are about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” She is also of the opinion that we must find common ground, move ahead with compromise, line up qualified candidates to run for office, and engage with more young voters and working groups.
Vice Chair: Jim Tock
Jim Tock, the Vice Chair, was first elected in January of 2023. James has been involved with the local party supporting campaign and canvassing activities serving as data administrator and texting lead. Being elected Vice Chair, James is committed to drive initiatives to increase the Democratic voter base in Marion County. His goal is to work closely with the Coordinated Campaign Chair to enable effective consistent messaging and campaign strategies throughout Marion County.
Secretary: Patricia Eberhardt
Pat Eberhardt, Secretary, has been a Democrat all of her voting life. She has lived in New York, Illinois and now in Florida. Married over 50 years with two grown children, she began the Democratic Club in her community in 2017 and has been President of this club since the beginning. She has volunteered in Girls Scouts, church, and in many different community clubs. Last year, Pat became a precinct captain and secretary of the Marion County Democratic Club. Having grown up with 11 brothers and sisters, she knows how difficult life can be for families that struggle financially. She remembers her mother driving to Canada to buy loaves of bread for 5 cents a loaf, eating government cheese, powdered milk and powdered eggs. She remembers going to school with no breakfast and no lunch. That may be why she believes so strongly in the Democratic principles of helping those in need. Pat reflects, “The government paid for my college education and look at me now, I am a contributor to our economy, I am happily paying taxes and hope that another young girl can go to college for a better life and contribute to America and raise a family without the shame of poverty.” She goes on, “Dreams can come true, but we all need help to attain those dreams. Many people helped me to achieve my dreams. That’s why I am a Democrat—to help make dreams come true for future generations.”
Treasurer & State Committeeman:
Richard Perry, the Treasurer and State Committeeman, has almost 16 years of experience on the State Executive Committee where he has served on the Rules Committee drafting a new charter and bylaws for the FDP to make the voting system more equitable.
Rick is a native Floridian who has lived in Marion County since 1985. He has served on the Board of Directors of The Centers, the Historic Ocala Preservation Society, and the Marion County Bar Association. As a pro bono lawyer for Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, he has represented the poor in cases involving domestic violence, slumlords, and children wrongfully taken by the state or kidnapped across state lines.
His involvement with the DEC and FDP also includes chairing the coordinated campaigns at least four times, representing Al Gore in the 2000 recount, attending the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and representing Ire Bethea and Joe Biden in recent elections. Rick wants the Marion County Democratic Party to grow. He would like the DEC to reach out to the younger generation and recruit local candidates, particularly for non-partisan races.
State Committeewoman: Joyce Blake
Joyce Blake, the State Committeewoman, wants to continue working with our local clubs and the Florida Democratic Party. She has developed an understanding of the workings of the party due to her 8 years of experience in this position. She is also the Vice Chair for the State Clubs and Caucus Committee. She has been a DEC member for 11 years.
Joyce has been very active with the Marion County Democratic Party and the state party where she was the DEC Coordinated Campaign Chair, the DEC Chair, and the FDP Congressional District 3 Chair and Vice Chair. She also worked on the 2008 Obama campaign.
Joyce believes that we need to reach out to Marion County’s Democrats, including younger voters and Independent voters, and we need to register more Precinct Captains. Those who have worked with her know that she is a team player and a consensus builder.