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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dave Bitner elected Fla GOP Chair



davebitner.jpg"It starts now. We are taking our country back. Folks, there is unity here,'' said David Bitner, a former state legislator and lobbyist, after winning an unexpectedly lopsided race for to chairman of the Florida Republican party.


In the first round of voting Bitner received 109 votes - just shy of the 115 votes needed to clinch it. Deborah Cox-Roush had 58 votes, Joe Gruters 37, Sid Dinerstein 16 and 7 for Tony DiMatteo. The run-off totals weren't announced but we hear Bitner received 153 votes and Cox-Roush 74.

"As we have said from day one of this campaign, this is not about me. It's about the grassroots members of the Republican Party of Florida. Wendy and I are so grateful for and humbled by their support,'' Bitner said in a statement.
"Beginning now, this is about unity in the GOP.  I look forward to working with all of our grassroots members, the Executive Board, and Florida's Republican leaders as we move the Party forward to victory in 2012.  It is time to put a Republican in back in the White House, elect another Republican US Senators, build on our majorities in the Florida House and Senate, and elect Republicans across the state in 2012. 
"As Governor Rick Scott says, let's get to work!"

[Last modified: Saturday, January 15, 2011 2:18pm]


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