Gruters on Track for Florida GOP Chair

Politics

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY DEC 6, 2018

State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, will likely be the next chairman for the Republican Party of Florida. 

Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis is expected today to endorse Gruters. With that, along with a strong allegiance to President Donald Trump, the local leader seems to have a clear path to the post. 

The Republican Party of Sarasota issued a press release Wednesday making clear Gruters' intention to run for re-election as chairman of the county party, a post he needs to hold in order to run for state chair.

“It’s been an honor to serve Sarasota County Republicans and it will continue to be an honor,” he says.

But running for county chair reverses a previous decision he made to step away from that job. Now Jack Brill, the frontrunner to succeed Gruters, will run for another term as vice chairman.

“To have Joe as the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida is huge for Sarasota County,” Brill says. 

Gruters ran for state chair before in 2010, but after falling short has focused on his role as Republican Party of Sarasota chairman and on his own political ambitions. He won a seat in the Florida Legislature in 2016, and in November won a promotion to the state Senate. But he's been heavily involved in state party politics as well. He served as vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida in 2016, and as co-chair for the Florida arm of Donald Trump's successful presidential campaign.

It’s those connections that those close to Gruters say made him a natural choice for state chair, a post he hasn’t actively pursued this year before the last couple days.

Photo courtesy Florida Senate: Joe Gruters prepares to be sworn in as state senator.

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