Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando County RNC delegates a contrast in experience

Blaise Ingoglia, 41, left, the vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, and Tom Hogan, 80, the Hernando County state committeeman, are friends and also delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Blaise Ingoglia, 41, left, the vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, and Tom Hogan, 80, the Hernando County state committeeman, are friends and also delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

BROOKSVILLE — Tom Hogan Sr. is an old hand at the Republican National Convention game.

He was a Florida delegate in Miami in 1968 when Richard Nixon was selected to run for his first term as president. He was in Dallas in 1984 when President Ronald Reagan won his second party nod.

All told, Hernando's longtime state committeeman has attended nearly every national and state GOP convention for the past 5 ½ decades.

Next week, the 80-year-old Hogan will be in Tampa, serving as one of two at-large Hernando County delegates in the Florida delegation. The other is Blaise Ingoglia, the Hernando Republican Executive Committee chairman and state party vice chairman, who will be attending his first national convention.

The two men admit they are something of an interesting political contrast.

Hogan, a retired Brooksville pharmacist, is mostly an old-school political organizer. He became the county's first Republican state committee member in 1961, when Democrats pretty much ruled local politics. Through the years, he and his wife, Mary Ann, have actively worked to strengthen the party's influence and help swing the county's political tide in a different direction.

The New York-born Ingoglia, 41, is a relative newcomer to Hernando politics. A businessman and professional poker player, he made a splash a few years ago with his "Government Gone Wild" seminars and videos, decrying county spending and the mounting federal debt, a message that continues to resonate loudly in party circles.

Ingoglia said he credits the Hogans for being not just mentors, but good friends as well.

"That's why I'm so excited about this opportunity," Ingoglia said. "I'm pretty much going there as a student to learn."

Hogan can attest that there will be plenty to learn at the four-day convention. And much of it will revolve around getting to and from the event each day.

To comply with tight security regulations, both men will be staying with other members of the Florida delegation at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor. Each day, the group will be transported by bus to the convention site at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in downtown Tampa.

"My hope is that it will at least speed things up," Hogan said. "Those lines through security can be awfully long."

Although he and Hogan still were waiting for the release of the final convention schedule, Ingoglia said that a mobile phone application he downloaded has enabled him to plan ahead for some events.

"Considering the tight schedule they're probably running, it's a nice thing to have," he said.

So far, Ingoglia has signed up to attend receptions hosted by the Maverick PAC and the Women's Leadership Council.

Hogan said he's taking a wait-and-see approach with his activities. He plans to meet with other state delegates during the day, and will attend some daytime receptions. But he wants to be on the convention floor for speeches and presentations during the evening hours.

"Every day is a buildup to Thursday, when the nomination (for president) is made," Hogan said. "For me, it's always exciting to be right down there in the middle of it."

Ingoglia said that while he's not exactly sure what to expect from his first convention, he hopes to see party members present a strident, unified image to the country by the time delegates are ready to name former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to the presidential ticket Thursday.

"I think we have a very cohesive party right now," Ingoglia said. "I think it's important that we have a clear message that's positive to voters."

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or lneill@tampabay.com.

Hernando County RNC delegates a contrast in experience 08/23/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 23, 2012 8:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ousted to political Siberia by Corcoran, Kathleen Peters sets sights on Pinellas Commission

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The perks of power in Tallahassee are a coveted chairmanship, a Capitol office in a prime location and a prominent seat on the House floor. Now Rep. Kathleen Peters has lost all three, but here's the twist: Her trip to "Siberia" might actually help her reach the next step on the Tampa Bay political …

    Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, has been relegated to the back row in the State House chamber, moved to a fouth floor office and stripped of her job as chairwoman of a House subcommittee after a series of disagreements with House Speaker Richard Corcoran. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. What do kids need to stay away from deadly auto theft epidemic?

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — More than a dozen black teenagers told U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist on Wednesday that children need stronger mentors and youth programs to steer clear of the auto theft epidemic plaguing Pinellas County.

    Congressman Charlie Crist (center) listens as Shenyah Ruth (right), a junior at Northeast High School, talks during Wednesday's youth roundtable meeting with community leaders and kids. They met to discuss the ongoing car theft epidemic among Pinellas youth and how law enforcement, elected officials, and community organizations can work together to put an end to this dangerous trend. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  3. Manhattan Casino choice causes political headache for Kriseman

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Days before the mayoral primary, Mayor Rick Kriseman's decision to let a Floribbean restaurant open in Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino has caused political angst within the voting bloc he can least afford to lose: the black community.

    Last week Mayor Rick Kriseman chose a Floribbean restaurant concept to fill Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino. But that decision, made days before next week's mayoral primary, has turned into a political headache for the mayor. Many residents want to see the building's next tenant better reflect its cultural significance in the black community. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  4. Bucs talk social issues, protests at team meeting

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Each time Dirk Koetter walks through the door of his office at One Buc Place, he passes by the only jersey framed on his wall.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) wears custom cleats to represent Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) as part of the NFL???‚??„?s "My Cause, My Cleats Campaign" before the start of a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016.
  5. UPS relocates express operations from St. Pete-Clearwater to TIA

    Airlines

    TAMPA — United Parcel Service Inc. is switching airports for its express air operations. Beginning in October, UPS will relocate from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport.

    Beginning in October, UPS will move from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport. [Associated Press file photo]