Thrasher on chairman's vote, credit cards, etc.
Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, says he's confident he has the votes to secure the chairmanship of the Republican Party of Florida at a meeting in Orlando on Saturday. Thrasher and state committeewoman Sharon Day of Broward County are battling to take over for Jim Greer, as is a third hopeful, state committeeman Mark Cross of Osceola County.
"You're always confident. You wouldn't do it unless you were confident," said Thrasher, who says he has public endorsements from about 80 party leaders out of a pool of 240 potential votes. "I'm going down there with a very positive attitude." He did acknowledge that "it's a secret ballot."
Thrasher said he has not seen the detailed party credit card statements that remain an obsession among party-watchers. "I don't have access to that. When I become chairman, I'll take whatever steps I need to take to look at those kinds of things," he said. He promised "a clear up and down review" of party staffers and that he has raised about $1 million in the several weeks since key legislators proposed him as Greer's successor.
"We're not in as bad a shape as people have made it out," he said. "There are some holes, but nothing that can't be fixed by some aggressive leadership."
The former House speaker deflected questions of whether he'll remain as chairman of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee if he wins the chairmanship vote. He said he wanted to discuss the issue with Senate President Jeff Atwater first.