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Helen Duda. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Atlantic Dem chairman slams activist for ‘hateful rhetoric’

Suleiman calls Duda lawsuit a ‘cheap political stunt’

By David Wildstein, April 08 2020 10:40 am

Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman blasted a would-be candidate for a Democratic county committee seat for ‘hateful rhetoric” surrounding her lawsuit to block the postponement of party leadership elections until 2021.

Helen Duda, a progressive seeking a county committee seat in Buena Vista Township, was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that successfully challenged a vote by the party’s executive committee to push elections until next year.

Suleiman said that despite an international health crisis that has left about 30,000 Atlantic County residents unemployed, Duda “one Democrat out of 58,000 registered Democrats in Atlantic County felt it was necessary to stress out our members even more, jeopardize their health, and take us to court on this matter.”

“Her lawsuit is supposedly about protecting voters’ rights, but it was nothing more than a cheap political stunt to disparage our elected officials, municipal chairs, and rank-and-file members,” Suleiman said.  “Our members are more progressive than these so-called ‘activists.’”

Suleiman also accused Duda and members of her organization of making inappropriate comments about the party and defending the organization’s record of “fair and open conventions, the party that first called out Jeff Van Drew, and the party advocating for the expansion of mail-in voting.”

“One individual tweeted that you, our county committee members, are nothing more than ‘a secret society of flunkies.’ Another individual said you were a member of a ‘frat house,’” Suleiman wrote. “These comments are incredibly insulting, and I will not sit by and let individuals who don’t live in our county or are not involved in our party disparage you.”

Duda did not immediately respond to a 9:57 AM request for comment via direct message.

Update: Duda responded at 3:36 PM: “It’s extremely disappointing that the Atlantic County Democratic Chair decided to attack me personally, in retribution for my case against postponing the Atlantic County Committee elections, in which the judge ruled in my favor.”

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