The new year has brought in new leadership and more goals for the Volusia County Young Democrats, which is now led by Braandon Davis who took on the role of president after Cameron Totman.
Totman, who founded the group in early 2015, will now hold the position of vice president and continue to help guide the club throughout 2018.
Totman said he decided to step down from his role as president to work on building new leadership within the club and let other individuals take larger roles.
"I was never contested for president and I felt that if I kept running for president I would be inhibiting new leadership," Totman said. "I felt that for the future of the club there has to be new leadership."
Davis was first introduced to the club in 2017 and held the title of community service director before being elected to president. For Davis, a major attraction to the club was the eagerness of members to become involved in politics.
Davis, who was born and raised in Detroit, said in addition to seeing the club grow he would like to foster a better relationship between all political parties and make the club a place where people with different political backgrounds can come together. He said he would like to see open dialogue where members can discuss different issues, even those that there is disagreement on.
Davis' interest in politics first began in 2008 when he voted for the first time. He noted that seeing former president Barack Obama elected to office encouraged him to research the different political parties and become more engaged with current issues.
Now, especially with this year's elections coming up, Davis wants to educate young adults who are in a similar position. The VYD will be a platform where he can do this.
"If I'm going to make a change, it has to start here in my community," Davis said. "At the end of the day, something we have in common is we're all American and we really need to start coming together, especially our younger generation."
The role of vice president
As Totman takes on the responsibilities of vice president, the club he started has now grown to about 50 people.
This year, Totman said he would like to act as a guide and help foster the goals of the other people in the club holding leadership positions to allow for new ideas. He describes the club members as showing tremendous strength, which has given him the confidence to step down.
"I want VYD to be a household name and recognized as a powerhouse," Totman said. "I want to help Braandon in an executive role and show him the path that I walked."
Totman would still like to see the club grow in certain areas. One plan is to create more forums for people running for elections. He has also looked into the potential of hosting a convention for young Democrats in Florida.
Additionally, Totman would like to use future panels as a way to bring current issues to candidates for further discussion.
"I think that our club is going to be a solid stepping stone for people who eventually want to run for office," Totman said. "I want to get those people who are in our club to not only fulfill their ambition one day but also work for candidates."