Rank My Vote Florida was founded in 2019 by regular citizens who were working on ranked choice voting in their own cities in Florida and banded together to try and get a statewide organization going.  The main focus of Rank My Vote Florida is the statewide passage of RCV, while at the same time assisting efforts to get RCV passed for local elections as well.  

Leadership Team

John Severini, Executive DirectorJohn_Profile_Pic.jpg

 

One of our original co-founders, since 2016 John has led the RCV effort to see ranked choice voting used in Sarasota where it was passed in 2007.  A retired IT business owner with 30+ years of experience, John is determined to fix our broken political system and believes that "ranked choice voting is a simple change to the way we vote that would increase voter choice, dissuade negative attacks, focus candidates on issues, while encouraging more candidates to run, giving voters more voice and leaders that represent the majority of voters."

 

Paul DeStefano, Director of Outreach

Paul De Stefano served multiple organizations during his nearly decade-long career as a grassroots organizer and director. As a director, Paul was able to see plans to fruition and organize large-scale canvasses across all Central Florida. As organizer, he helped register hundreds of new voters and helped create plans for lifelong voters.

Paul knows the need for immediate reform in our democracy and enjoys working with people of all stripes to work towards a common goal. Paul is passionate about RCV and is looking forward to helping RMV FL succeed in reaching voters where they are to support Ranked Choice Voting in the state.

A Florida native, Paul was born and raised in Orlando. Paul is an alumnus of the University of Central Florida

David Angel, General CounselDavid_Profile_Pic.jpg
 

Prior to joining our team in late 2020, David spent several years working as a financial regulatory attorney in New York before returning home to Miami. He is passionate about making elections work better and is excited to join the movement to adopt ranked-choice voting statewide in Florida. He holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan and is licensed to practice law in both New York and Florida. He also holds a CPA license in Massachusetts.

Vilia Johnson, Speakers & Endorsement Team LeaderVilia.jpg
 

Vilia Johnson grew up in Tampa and graduated from the University of South Florida. After a career in sales management in major cities across the country she has returned to enjoy retirement on the Gulf Coast. She joined Rank My Vote Florida to support a non-partisan reform that empowers voters with more choice and to make every vote count. 

J Mark Barfield, Communications Team Leader
JMark

J Mark, a fifth-generation Floridian, was a city- and county-beat newspaper reporter in the state. J Mark subsequently edited trade magazines and provided professional communications services for several political campaigns and civic organizations. As a reporter, J Mark says he saw the need to reform voting at the local level so citizens could break the grip of entrenched political machinery. Ranked-choice voting offers a huge step in that direction, he says.

David Barr, Onboarding Team Leader

 

David Barr is passionate about Ranked Choice Voting as a way to more accurately represent the will of the people and decrease negative campaigning. He currently lives in his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida and works as a software developer. He attended the University of Miami to study economics and briefly lived in Madison, Wisconsin to work for Epic. In his role as Onboarding Team Lead he works with new volunteers to find ways to contribute in large ways quickly.

 

Jose G Torres, Tech & Team LeaderVilia.jpg

 

Jose G Torres grew up in Puerto Rico and Miami, and graduated from Florida International University with a degree in Political Science.  A passion of his, guided by his family.  After many years working in retail for various retailers across the country, he moved into a software sales position which transitioned him to his most current position as a Business Systems Analyst in Jacksonville, FL.  During those 50 years in business, which took him through 9 separate presidential administrations, he has realized that there must be a better way to elect our politicians.  In Jacksonville, he became involved with various political organizations, including RCV-JAX, a local group advocating for the use of Ranked Choice Voting in local municipal elections.  This led him to join up with the Rank My Vote Florida organization as a Team Lead in the Technology & Data Management group.

Advisory Board

Adrian Moore, Ph.D., VP of Policy at Reason Foundation

Adrian Moore, Ph.D., is vice president of policy at Reason Foundation. Moore leads Reason's policy implementation efforts and conducts his own research on topics such as privatization, government and regulatory reform, air quality, transportation and urban growth, prisons and utilities. Moore, who has testified before Congress on several occasions, regularly advises federal, state and local officials on ways to streamline government and reduce costs.

Jen Ahearn-Koch, Sarasota City Commissioner At-Large

Former Mayor of the City of Sarasota & current City Commission Member At-Large. Jen Ahearn-Koch is an experienced marketing & communications professional with extensive experience in the US & Europe. She is a longtime supporter of ranked choice voting and having been a candidate genuinely feels that RCV increases the likelihood of positive campaigning as well as decreases the cost by eliminating the runoff round.

Jason Altmire, Former House Representative, US Congress

 

Dr. Jason Altmire is the former U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 4th congressional district, serving from 2007 until 2013 as a member of the Democratic Party in a Republican district. In Congress, he was a bipartisan centrist known for working with both sides of the aisle, which led to an extraordinary record of legislative success. He served as a subcommittee chairman, had 29 of his legislative initiatives signed into law, and introduced a bipartisan bill that gained the most cosponsors of any congressional bill in American history. 

As a business leader he is a nationally recognized health care policy expert in the health insurance industry.   In 2017 he authored the critically acclaimed book, Dead Center: How Political Polarization Divided America and What We Can Do About It.  Jason has returned to Florida where he has remained active in civic and national affairs, serving on several boards, including Unite America, a movement of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents working to bridge the growing partisan divide and foster a more representative and functional government; the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition; and the Board of Trustees at Jacksonville University.

Cathy Antunes, WLSR Radio Host

Cathy Antunes is host of “The Detail,” a radio show about local politics in Sarasota and Bradenton on WSLR 96.5 fm.  Cathy has served on numerous local boards including Sarasota's Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA).  She has effectively organized community efforts to preserve Sarasota's quality of life, and is currently serving as an appointed member of the City of Sarasota’s Charter Review Board.

Cathy earned a BA in history with a concentration in economics at the University of Virginia. She holds a masters degree in theology. Born in New York City and raised in Westchester County, Cathy’s education and time as a military spouse provided the opportunity to reside in numerous US cities, which sparked her interest in land use planning and local politics. Her past domiciles include Manhattan, Charlottesville, VA, Kailua, HI, San Antonio, TX, Summit, NJ, Newport News, VA, Garrett Park, MD, and Pittsburgh, PA before finally settling in Sarasota, FL, where she has now resided for 22 years.  She is married and has two children and three step-children.

  Steve Hough, Veterans for Political Innovation
 
Steve is a retired accountant living in the Florida panhandle. As a lifelong independent, he became active in the movement for electoral reform after retiring. He is motivated by a recognition that the entrenched political duopoly stifles competition and promotes divisiveness which has created a toxic political environment preventing lawmakers from effectively addressing our most pressing problems.
Kelly Kirschner, Dean Eckerd College

Kelly Kirschner was elected the youngest City Commissioner in Sarasota's 100+ year history in 2007. Early in his term in office, he supported the successful passage of a citizen-led Instant Runoff Voting ballot initiative that passed with overwhelming support of the City electorate. After serving two terms as Vice Mayor and one year as Mayor, SRQ Magazine and its readers selected Kirschner as the Best Leader in Sarasota County. 

Kirschner is active in Sarasota, Manatee and Pinellas counties. Since July of 2012, Kelly has served as Vice President and Dean of Executive and Continuing Education with Eckerd College, in St. Petersburg, Florida. As Dean, Kirschner provides leadership for the College's non-credit adult education, continuing education, leadership development, conflict resolution and lifelong learning programs, as well as leading the College’s government affairs work. He currently serves as the Board Chair of UnidosNow, and as a board member for the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, the St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation, and the City of St. Petersburg’s South Community Redevelopment Area Community Advisory Committee. 

Yury Konnikov, Florida Initiative for Electoral Reform 
Yury is an information technology professional with a passion for nonpartisan electoral reforms. For many years he has been involved with another nonpartisan organization called Florida Iniative for Electoral Reform (FLIER).  He is presently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. Mr. Konnikov has served as Student Trustee at Palm Beach State College, Chair of the Boca Raton City Education Advisory Board, and on Boynton Beach’s Green Community Alliance.