DELTONA, Fla. -- Pat Northey, the longstanding Volusia County Councilwoman bounced from the dais of the Frank T. Bruno County Council Chambers in a bitterly-divided 2014 election, has begun mending fences with the online journalist who has followed her political career for the last 20 years.
Just days before her crushing defeat to incumbent at-large Councilwoman Joyce Cusack in November, Northey "unfriended" HeadlineSurfer.com Publisher Henry Frederick for calling her out on a series of campaign attack mailings and for embarrassing issues with her webmaster that caused him to take down her content.
Earlier in the campaign, Northey, like colleague Deb Deny, were the lone no-shows in a series of municipal and county-wide public candidate debates sponsored and moderated by Headline Surfer®.
But all that changed early Wednesday morning when Northey "friended" Frederick on Facebook for the first time in 10 months. And the timing could not have been better.
After all, Northey and 14 other big wigs were recently appointed the Volusia County Charter Review Commission, a year-long commitment off grassroots meeting and community dialogue in looking at changes, if any in the county's charter or "constitution" in governing.
Frederick, who first met Northey back in the mid-1990s during his nearly decade-long run covering cops & courts for the Daytona Beach News-Journal before launching the internet newspaper, sent a private message to Northey asking how she could effectively communicate with the public without Headline Surfer®, with its brand of award-winning investigative reports that has a large digital following and extensive social media integration.
Frederick wrote to Northey making clear if she wants to reach out to the citizens who flock to the internet newspaper and its vast social media network, then she needs to work with him in making her desired transparency a reality.
"It is difficult to communicate with you via social media with your duties on the Charter Review Committee if you have unfriended me," Frederick said.
Northey quickly responded: "Hi Henry, send me a friend request. You are correct. That is a public position. And frankly, The election is behind me and all is good."
The messages were exchanged within minutes of each other leading to the Facebook friend reconnection.
Headline Surfer® endorsed Northey for re-election in the 2012 election for her a return to her district 5 seat on the council over challenger Rich Gailey of DeBary and she won.
But then things got rocky when the term-limited Northey Northey set her sights on the at-large seat held by Cuack of DeLand, with the internet nepaper endorsing the latter in the 2014 general election.
FAST FACTS: HeadlineSufer.com Google Analytics