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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

GOP leader calls on Fla GOP Vice chairman Joe Gruters to quit Donald Trump campaign



Eric Miller, a prominent Republican activist, Martin County State Committeeman, and former candidate for Florida GOP Chairman, is calling on the state party's vice chairman, Joe Gruters, to step down as co-chairman of Donald Trump's Florida campaign. Miller calls Trump - currently the overwhelming favorite of Republicans in Florida - an "unprincipled shell of a man." 

Here is Miller's Valentines Day letter to Gruters and other state party leaders and activists:

14 February 2016

Mr. Vice Chairman:              

As Americans we once again find ourselves at a crossroads as a Nation. We are at this juncture by no other reason than our own.  I am sending this open letter to you with the sense that if those with influence do not speak out now, we will all pay a heavy price when Liberty is lost and darkness consumes our Nation.

With Progressive elements now in control of leadership across both sides of the aisle, be cautioned that the Republican Party will either be known in history as the vehicle that solidified a National Socialist as President or we will be remembered as the people that restored our great Nation to a Constitutional Republic.

We can no longer feed our desire to “win at all costs” as Republicans and Americans with malevolent pomposity. It is time that we all begin to perform our political duties not in our own interests but based on our common American principles of Liberty.

Joe, I know you well enough to say that you are not the unprincipled shell of a man that Donald Trump is. Nor do you wish to bring harm to the name Republican. However, your position as Florida Co-Chairman of the Donald Trump for President Campaign is doing just that.

You are not the issue. Your title and how it is being viewed are the matter at hand.

I am respectfully asking that you choose between your office as Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida and the position of Florida Co-Chairman with Mr. Donald Trump. The two positions create a contradiction of principle and do not allow for or give the appearance of unbiased behavior as Vice Chairman of the third largest Republican State in the Union.

I am sure that I echo a loud voice when I say that we would welcome the opportunity to have you on our side as a Party leader and as our Vice Chairman in Florida. Thank you in advance for your consideration in this matter. I will pray that you are guided to make an ethical decision that is based on the principles of American Constitutionality and one that reflects best on our Grand Old Party.


Eric D. Miller
RPOF State Committeeman
Martin County

State GOP Vice Chairman Gruters, who himself has run for state party chairman before,  is currently running for Sarasota county commission, and also served as chairman of the Sarasota Republican Party, is co-chairman of Trump's Florida campaign along with Susie Wiles, a lobbyist in the Jacksonville area who ran Rick Scott's first campaign for governor. Gruters was also an early Scott supporter, and neither he nor Wiles are paid for their work on Trump's behalf in Florida.

Gruters dismissed Miller's letter:

"I am proud to be the State Co Chairman of Donald Trump here in Florida.  Bold Leadership is needed and we can no longer continue to elect the same candidates from the political elite who are controlled by the special interest.  Donald will only be beholden to the people," Gruters emailed. "It is also becoming clearer that Mr Trump will be our Nominee and our President.  He  is winning every poll and there is nothing that will stop his momentum.  Obviously this upsets the establishment.  I will continue my duties in all of my positions and look forward to working with everyone to ensure our nominee is victorious in November. I also fully believe in his message and vision and he will Make America Great Again."

For what it's worth, Florida Democratic Chairwoman Allison Tant and Vice Chairman Alan Clendenin are members of the Hillary Clinton campaign's Florida Leadership Council.

[Last modified: Friday, February 19, 2016 11:40am]


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