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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida GOP chairman Ingoglia ramps up campaign for a second term

State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, is running for a second term as Republican Party of Florida chairman.

State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, is running for a second term as Republican Party of Florida chairman.

28

November

Republican Party of Florida chairman Blaise Ingoglia today officially kicked off his bid for a second two-year term in office with a letter to GOP officials outlining the party’s dominating performance earlier this month.

“This election cycle, we defied the naysayers and delivered on our promises,” Ingoglia said in the letter to Republican activists who he needs to win over. “And with an important 2018 election on the horizon, all I can say is ...Let’s Do It Again!.”

In his letter, Ingoglia, a Hernando County Republicans, reminds Republican activists that Trump carried the state, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio dominated, and the GOP came out of the cycle with a dominating edge in the Florida Legislature.

Ingoglia is being challenged for the top post by Christian Ziegler, a 33-year-old Sarasota County Republican who promises to re-unify the party. Since Ingoglia beat out Gov. Rick Scott’s choice for chairman two years ago, Scott and the leaders of the Florida Senate have pulled their financial resources out of the Republican Party of Florida. Ingoglia is a state Representative from Hernando County, a role Ziegler said is a conflict of interest given the dynamics with the Senate and the governor.

Maybe the most important part of Ingoglia’s letter is a list of endorsements he rolled out. It includes the names of 114 key county party leaders throughout the state who make up the voters who have a ballot to cast on Jan. 14. The lists includes 41 county GOP chairs out of of 67. Not included on the lists is Ingoglia himself, county chairman in Hernando County.

The 114 is significant given Ingoglia won 132 votes out of 222 votes two years ago to become chairman. If 222 people vote on Jan.15, 114 votes would represent more than 50 percent of the voters.

But Ziegler isn’t convinced Ingoglia’s list is all that impressive. He said a public list of endorsements when people cast secret ballots is “not worth the paper it’s printed on.” He said there are people on Ingoglia’s list who lobbied for him to run against Ingoglia who ultimately could vote for him when it is time to cast a ballot.

“A good percentage of that list will be voting for me down the road,” Ziegler said.

[Last modified: Monday, November 28, 2016 4:58pm]

    

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