Update: Although I did not make the cut, congrats to everyone who won! We filled the Board of Directors with left-wing Bernie Sanders Democrats.
My name is Richard Thripp and I am a 29-year-old Democratic activist in southwest Volusia County. I was elected to be the Chair of the Volusia County Democratic Party in December 2020, but stepped down in June 2021 due to an election challenge by my opponent, who discovered a notarial issue with the candidate oaths of myself and others that we were unaware of at the time. Nevertheless, I gained valuable experience in directing a large organization of volunteers and working with various stakeholders. In 2020, I ran for Congress (Florida’s 6th district) with no prior political experience, securing numerous endorsements including Florida for Bernie and Our Revolution Florida, receiving 284 small donations totaling $9,327, and recruiting over 100 volunteers. We achieved 48.5% of the vote in the Democratic primary. I am a strong supporter of a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, student loan forgiveness, and other progressive causes which were core planks of my congressional campaign. My wife Kristy and I have a 2-year-old son, Jonah. We are concerned about his future and other children as the climate crisis worsens.
Immediately prior to launching my congressional campaign, I completed my PhD in Education at University of Central Florida with specializations in instructional design and advanced statistics. My dissertation was on preservice teacher financial literacy and was republished by The International Society for Technology, Education and Science. I taught 11th grade U.S. History and 12th grade U.S. Government at a public high school from October 2020 to June 2021, and am a Florida certified teacher in 10 subject areas. Prior to being a classroom teacher, I taught hundreds of preservice teachers about educational technology as an instructor at University of Central Florida of a 3-credit hour course, EME 2040: Introduction to Technology for Educators, in mixed-mode and fully online modalities in 16-week and accelerated 6-week formats.
At this time, I am continuing to volunteer, to advocate for worthy causes, and to mentor political candidates such as John Navarra, a veteran 10th grade World History teacher who is running for Florida House District 26. I am running to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida in the July 17, 2021 elections to work with progressive Democratic activists and candidates throughout Florida and magnify our positive impact.