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Helen Aguirre Ferré leaves DeSantis’ office, becomes new executive director for Florida GOP

Ferré‘s hiring was announced Thursday by party Chairman Joe Gruters during an internal call with members of Florida’s Republican Executive Committee.
Helen Aguirre Ferré
Helen Aguirre Ferré [ JOSE A. IGLESIAS | José A. Iglesias ]
Published Jul. 17, 2020|Updated Jul. 17, 2020

Helen Aguirre Ferré, a former Miami TV and radio host who for the last 1 1/2 years has worked as communications director for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, will be the new executive director for the Republican Party of Florida.

Ferré‘s hiring was announced Thursday by party Chairman Joe Gruters during an internal call with members of Florida’s Republican Executive Committee. Gruters, a state senator from Sarasota, said Ferré will help steer the party during the final 109 days of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. Florida is considered a critical state for Trump.

“I am excited to have someone of her caliber and experience who will manage the day-to-day operations of the RPOF,” Gruters said. “Her previous experiences at the White House and the RNC will make it so she has an immediate impact.”

Ferré fills a job that has been vacant since March, when former executive director Peter O’Rourke resigned following a six-month stint at the helm of the party. Gruters said on the call that Ferré was picked by DeSantis, according to a person listening to the call.

Ferré, a past op-Ed Miami Herald columnist and host of WPBT2′s “Issues with Helen Ferré,” worked as a senior adviser to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign and then joined the Republican National Committee as Hispanic communications director after Bush bowed out. She joined Trump’s administration as White House director of media affairs in 2017, and has worked for DeSantis since early 2019.

Ferré‘s relationship with the reporters frayed during the final months of her tenure.

She is the daughter-in-law of the late Maurice Ferré, a former mayor of Miami.

It’s unclear when Ferré will officially take the position as executive director. She did not respond to a question about how the governor’s communications office would change following her departure.

Times/Herald reporter Kirby Wilson contributed to this report.

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