Sarasota's Joe Gruters Bids For RPOF Chair

Editor’s Note – In what is becoming a crowded field for Republican Party Chairman, we have yet another contender talking about restoring credibility to the RPOF.

One has to wonder just how far any of the candidates are willing to go to truly change the ‘good ol’ boy’ network in Tallahassee that seems to control everything. 

Certainly, Joe Gruters is a fresh face on the scene, which can only be an advantage…




Sarasota’s Joe Gruters Bids For RPOF Chair

By Kenric Ward
Sunshine State News

Sarasota County Republican Chairman Joe Gruters announced his bid for state Republican Party chairman on Tuesday, with a goal of “building a permanent majority” for the GOP.

Sarasota County Republican Chairman Joe Gruters
Sarasota County Republican Chairman Joe Gruters

Gruters’ entry brings the number of officially announced candidates to five. Also running are Hillsborough County GOP Chair Deborah Cox-Roush, Pinellas County State Committeeman Tony DiMatteo, Jefferson County State Committeeman Dave Bitner and Palm Beach County GOP Chair Sid Dinerstein.

Sharon Day of Broward County is also expected to enter the contest for the second straight year.

Unlike his competitors, Gruters is young (35) and relatively new to GOP leadership, having taken the helm of the Sarasota County party in the wake of a spate of defections by Charlie Crist supporters.

Quickly rebuilding the local party organization, Gruters’ phone-bank operation led all county parties in get-out-the-vote phone calls as Republicans swept Democrats from office.

His work was recognized by gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott, who, in the closing days of the campaign, declared: “We all know that the next chairman of the Republican Party ought to be Joe, because he has done such a wonderful job in Sarasota.”

State parties historically honor the preference of their leader when it comes to choosing a chairman. As governor, Scott is the titular head of the Republican Party of Florida.

Gruters says he wants to build on his work in Sarasota.

“The Republican Party had the foresight and the power to make a difference in the (2010) elections and we did. As Republicans, we won because we stood united and we promised to return to the basic principles and beliefs that made our country great,” Gruters stated on his website this morning.

“If we want to build a permanent majority and continue the momentum in 2012, we must take a long, honest look at ourselves. The next chairman of our party must acknowledge our shortcomings, and have the vision and the energy to seek solutions.”

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