- The two candidates vying to lead the Florida Republican Party are Vice Chair Christian Ziegler and Leon County GOP Chair Evan Power.
- Christian Ziegler serves as the party’s current vice chair.
- He is also a former Sarasota County Commissioner.
- The election for Florida GOP chair is scheduled for Feb. 18.
Following a dominating performance in the 2022 midterm elections, Republicans in the Sunshine State are firmly in the driver’s seat heading into the next election cycle. And while the Florida GOP is likely to continue to build on its momentum with Governor Ron DeSantis at the helm, the party finds itself in search of a general who can continue to recruit voters and build coalitions to keep the state red in 2024.
So one question remains: who will be the next leader of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF)?
Current RPOF Chair Joe Gruters, who was instrumental in turning Florida into a bright red bastion, is not seeking reelection, paving the way for a Florida politics veteran to take up the mantle.
The Capitolist sat down with two candidates running for the post. Below is our interview with Christian Ziegler, the current Vice Chairman of the RPOF, where we discuss his vision for the party if he is elected. Our interview with Evan Power is here.
Q: What’s your background in Florida politics?
Ziegler: I have served as the Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida for the last four years. In Florida specifically, I have also worked as an Intern-Analyst in the FL House of Representatives, as a Legislative Policy Staffer on Capitol Hill in D.C., and have worked on multiple Congressional Campaigns (first-time races + re-elects), in addition to being elected myself as a Sarasota County Commissioner, running my wife’s School Board races, and I own a Digital/Comms Firm working with both political and private sector clients. Outside of Florida, I have done Digital/Comms on multiple Governors races, served as a media surrogate for President Donald J. Trump’s campaigns, and even worked on international campaigns.
Q: Why did you decide to run for RPOF Chair?
Ziegler: I have been involved with the Florida GOP for over a decade now, but the real motivation for me to step up and run for Chairman at this point is in reaction to how vile, nasty and extreme The Left has become. They are engaging in a constant and daily assault not just on our country and state, but on families and children. As a father, I can’t let them go unchallenged and I feel a sense of duty – for my children – to secure whatever position I can execute within to best battle the left and ensure that my children spend the rest of their lives in a country as good as the one I was raised in. Sounds corny, but it’s true. Any parent knows that there is nothing more motivational than ensuring the well being of their children. I just happen to have the fortunate opportunity to protect the well-being of the next generation through politics and policy (via the Republican Party of Florida).
Q: What do you bring to the role?
Ziegler: High energy, deep experience, and a strong desire to execute by leading as a servant team leader.
I also bring a unique background spread to the table having worked at every level – local, state, and federal – on both the policy and political campaign side, in addition to working on international races and serving as a Sarasota County Commissioner. I understand each level of government – from policy to campaigns – that our Republican Party battles in.
As the father of 3 girls – ages 9, 6, and 3 – I bring unlimited passion and a burning desire to work my tail off to defeat the Radical Liberal Democrats seeking to destroy our country, state, communities, schools and children.
Q: The RPOF is coming off a red tsunami following the midterm election. If chosen to lead the party, how do you keep that momentum going and stay on top?
Ziegler: We must continue to execute on what we do well – Voter Registration & Get-Out-The-Vote – but with COVID showcasing just how tyrannical local governments can be by passing mask mandates, curfews, and shutdowns and how relentless and aggressively the Left has pushed the Culture War into our schools and onto our children, it’s time for the Republican Party of Florida to expand our efforts. We must aggressively battle at the local level to replace failed leadership with good leadership at the School Board, County and City levels. It will be a new venture for our organization, but one we must do because if the State Party and our Local County Parties do not step up at the local level, who will?
And to be successful, I will work to secure the resources, get the volunteers signed up, provide the training necessary and take the fight to The Left until every Democrat is removed from office and refuses to run for office. Until that happens, the work does not stop.
Q: Looking ahead, what’s next for the Republican Party of Florida?
Ziegler: Governor DeSantis took unprecedented action by getting involved in School Board races in 2022. It was a gamble, but it ended up leading to many School Board wins and Board Majority Flips for Conservatives in a good number of counties. This delivered a generational impact, for the good. And I believe it helped give us a roadmap because when we get involved in these hyper-local races and hold Liberals accountable at the local level, we will win. Our state will win, our local communities will win and most importantly, our families and kids will win, which is how you REALLY protect and preserve your country.