With Support from State Senators, Ingoglia Moves to Debunk Myth of Fractured RPOF

by | Dec 28, 2016

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Ten Republican state senators today announced their support for State Representative Blaise Ingoglia in his reelection bid to remain chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. He faces Christian Ziegler and at least one other candidate in a race for control of the party during the 2018 election cycle. The election will be held January 14th in Orlando.

Ingoglia’s announcement is a direct shot at not only Ziegler, but the general media narrative that RPOF is “fractured” because of his dual role as both party chairman and sitting state representative.

Threats of a fractured party were unpersuasive to RPOF executive committee members in January of 2015, when even before the vote took place, Governor Rick Scott made it clear the RPOF wouldn’t have his fundraising support if his chosen candidate, Leslie Dougher, wasn’t reelected.

Then, 132 members of the 256-member state executive committee ultimately rejected Scott’s threat and voted for Ingoglia. That same day, Senate President Andy Gardiner transferred $800,000 from RPOF accounts to a senate leadership account, and it was later learned that Scott had directed a transfer of $580,000 from RPOF coffers into his Let’s Get to Work committee the day before the vote.

In addition to countering the charge of a fractured party, Ingoglia’s announcement sends another message, too: he’s very close to having all the votes he needs to win reelection. All ten of the state senators on his list also have votes on the RPOF state executive committee. Add them into his previously announced support, and he may well have north of 140 votes locked up.

His top challenger, Christian Ziegler, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but has previously pointed out that although many voting members have lent their names to Ingoglia’s campaign, some did so under pressure. He also provided evidence that as many as a dozen names on Ingoglia’s initial endorsement list will cast a vote for Ziegler.

But the secret ballot process may be the only thing standing in Ingoglia’s way, now. Even accounting for Ziegler’s defectors and few names that have been disqualified from Ingoglia’s 114 initial endorsers, Ingoglia has continued to amass public support, first from 11 congressmen, Marco Rubio, Jeff Atwater, 23 additional voting members, and today’s announcement of 10 state senators. Some will surely defect, some may not show up, but if Ingoglia can muster 110 or more votes, then Ziegler’s chances may be limited.

The magic number to win the chairman’s post outright is 129 votes (50% of the 256-member committee, plus one vote). But that assumes all 256 members will actually show up and cast votes. That’s highly unlikely. In the contentious 2015 contest, just 222 total votes were cast.

Here’s the full release from Ingoglia:

Florida State Senator Endorsements

Fellow RPOF State Executive Committee Members,

Over this past election cycle, there has been a lot of rhetoric from the Florida Democrat Party, the media and those who wanted the grassroots to fail, by trying to give the appearance that the Republican Party of Florida and the Florida Senate have not been unified in our shared goals.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The fact is that I, as well as the RPOF, have a great working relationship with our Florida Senators and their leadership. Florida Senators have attended all our major events, donated and helped raise money to help us succeed.

In keeping with our unified goals, I am proud to announce the endorsements of the State Senators who are also voting members of the Republican Party of Florida.

We all know how important this upcoming election cycle is. We need to elect a new Governor, a new cabinet and defeat Bill Nelson and I look forward to working with our eventual Republican nominees to deliver on our promises of success once again.

I am committed to working collaboratively with the Florida Senate, the Florida House, our Congressional delegation, the Governor and the cabinet to advance our shared goals of making Florida the best state in the nation!

Yours In Victory,

Blaise Ingoglia
RPOF Chairman

Florida Senator Endorsements
State Senator Bill Galvano
State Senator Kelli Stargel
State Senator Rob Bradley
State Senator Frank Artiles
State Senator Dennis Baxley
State Senator Travis Hutson
State Senator Debbie Mayfield
State Senator Kathleen Passidomo
State Senator Greg Steube
State Senator Dana Young



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