The Bexar County Democratic Party on Tuesday night elected veteran Democratic activist Choco Meza to lead the party past a swarm of controversy left in the wake of Dan Ramos.
Meza, who recently ran for the position but lost to Ramos last year, won overwhelming support from party leaders to replace the embattled chair. Ramos, who has drawn widespread condemnation for his venomous and homophobic remarks, was eventually booted from his post earlier this month when party leaders agreed that he repeatedly violated the party's standing rules.
Meza, a member of the Democratic National Committee, scored 106 votes from members of the Bexar Dems' executive committee Tuesday night, with two abstentions. Shane Mitchell, virtually unknown in local Democratic circles, had planned to challenge Meza for the spot but withdrew and endorsed Meza after a short, awkward speech before party members.
"Anybody who decides they want to run for a job that has as much controversy as this, we’re either crazy or we just love politics,” Meza told party leaders.
Meza said her top priority is to tackle the party's looming $200,000 debt. "First and foremost, I am committed to getting rid of that debt before the end of the summer," she told party leaders.
In his year as chair of the party, Ramos had vowed to shake up the BCDP and root out party members he holds responsible for theft of some $200,000 of party cash. Ramos has said he would fight his ouster, calling the process illegitimate, though so far no court battle has been launched.
The District Attorney’s Office has repeatedly said former party treasurer Dwayne Adams, who is set for trial, is the only one facing charges in the theft of party money.