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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Weatherford takes himself out of the running for RPOF chair

With Lenny Curry leaving his job as the Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, it didn't take long for people to consider Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford.

Weatherford is being forced to leave his Wesley Chapel seat later this year because of term limits. A popular parlor game in Tallahassee has been guessing what the telegenic 34-year-old will do next. Not only is he popular among conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity, but he's also part of a family dynasty of sorts: He's the son-in-law of former House Speaker Allan Bense, who remains active in political and state government circles.

So it seemed noteworthy in the minutes after the 2014 session ended that Weatherford didn't dismiss rumors that he was considering the RPOF job.

Question: Some people have suggested that the next job for you would be the head of the Florida Republican Party, have you put any thought into that?

Senate President Don Gaetz: I’m for Will Weatherford in anything he wants to do.

Weatherford: I’m honestly enjoying the moment of finishing off the session. If you had told me 10 years ago that I’d get to be Speaker of the House, I wouldn’t have believed you. To get a chance at sine die with a man of this character (Gaetz) and celebrate two years of sessions of real work is a true honor. I have no idea what the next step is, but I’m going to spend a weekend with my kids and we’ll see where the future leads.

But when his wife, Courtney, was asked minutes later if he was going to become the next RPOF chair, she replied "no."

"And you can quote that," she said.

So this morning, it didn't come as much of a surprise when he tweeted the same.

"Humbled by all the encouragement to run for RPOF chair but I have a higher calling right now...being a more present husband and father," Weatherford said.

The couple has three daughters with a child on the way.



[Last modified: Saturday, May 3, 2014 1:19pm]


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