Ziegler Wins Race to Lead Florida GOP

Todays News

Image courtesy Facebook.

State Sen. Joe Gruters’ time in charge of the Republican Party of Florida officially ended. But another Sarasota political leader is taking the reins of the state party. Christian Ziegler, Sarasota County State Committeeman, won election on Saturday as the new state Chair for the Florida Republican Executive Committee.

“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to chair the state party and go to bat for so many hardworking Floridians,” Gruters tweeted. “I wish our next chairman, Christian Ziegler,  all the best as we fight to expand our majority and take back the White House in 2024!”

Ziegler won in a 126-100 vote over Leon County Republican Party Chairman Evan Power, who was promptly elected as Vice Chair for the state party.

Gruters has served as chair of for Florida Republicans since 2019, a position he secured two years after chairing the Florida arm for Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign in 2016. But Gruters in December elected not to seek another term as chair of the Republican Party of Sarasota County, signaling he would not run again for state chair. He ran last month for National Republican Committee Treasurer but lost that race.

Ziegler notably was running for state chair in 2018 before Gov. Ron DeSantis effectively recruited Gruters into the race. He’s maintained a close relationship with Gruters for the better part of two decades. Both Ziegler and Gruters worked on U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan’s first run for Congress in 2006 and have climbed the ranks of party leadership together. Ziegler served as Vice Chair of the state party the entire four years Gruters led the organization.

To run for state Chair, candidates must serve as committee members or county chairs for local Republican Executive Committees. That makes it highly unusual for two consecutive party leaders to hail from the same county.

Under Gruters, the party excelled at registrations, and Republicans now hold an edge over Democrats in registered voters for the first time in state history.

Ziegler served as a Sarasota County Commissioner from 2018 to 2022, when he opted against seeking re-election. His wife, Bridget Ziegler, chairs the Sarasota County School Board.

 

 

Image courtesy Facebook.

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