Republican chairwoman resigns in Hernando
Ana Trinque, the leader of Hernando County’s Republican Party for more than six years, unexpectedly resigned her post Thursday night.
The chairwoman of the party’s executive committee, who was just elected to another term in December, called a special meeting of the committee to announce her decision, said Frank Colletti, a former party chairman.
Trinque, who did not return calls Friday seeking comment, told party leaders she wanted to spend more time with her family. She said she is expecting more grandchildren later this spring.
"She has devoted a tremendous amount of time," said Colletti, who will lead a search committee to find a replacement. "It’s been years of hard work."
Trinque, a real estate agent, replaced Colletti in December 2002, besting veterans activist Jeffrey Johnston and promising big plans.
Her tenure ends after a triumphant 2008 campaign season.
In Hernando, the GOP trounced Democrats, winning all but one partisan race. The party now holds 13 of the 17 partisan posts at the local, state and federal levels.
The victories came as a result of a strong grassroots operation managed largely by Trinque. On Election Day, it came down to getting the base to the polls. Of the 10 precincts with the highest turnout in the 2008 election, Republicans held a majority in nine of them.
State Rep. Robert Schenck, R-Spring Hill, said Trinque contemplated stepping down for some time but wanted to see the party through the elections and last week’s Lincoln Day fundraiser dinner.
"She was 110 percent committed to the Republican Party," said Schenck, who is also her business partner. "She put in countless hours and was a hard worker and brought us through a couple of tough election cycles."
But her term didn’t come without incident. The party saw some minor fissures among the rank-and-file, and subtle divisions over the direction of the party still exist.
Home builder and government critic Blaise Ingoglia said that he was sure that the perceived split in the party and a recent spat with Realtor Gary Schraut concerning the Lincoln Day dinner had nothing to do with Trinque’s decision.
-- John Frank, Times staff writer