Four GOP Leaders Cast Florida's Electoral College Votes

Todays News

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY DEC 17, 2020

When the electoral college convened to cast the official votes for president, four Republican leaders from this region were among those participating in the process. State Sen. Joe Gruters, Sarasota County Commissioner Christian Ziegler, Republican National Committeewoman Kathleen King and developer Pat Neal were among a group of individuals casting Florida’s votes for President Donald Trump.

“What an incredible honor to be able to serve as one of 29 electoral college members from Florida,” said Gruters. This was the second time Gruters cast one of Florida’s votes. He also cast a vote for Trump in 2016.

Of course, Joe Biden won the electoral college vote, but Florida, like most states, awards all its electors to the winner of the presidential election in the state. Trump won Florida by more than 3% of the vote, so all 29 votes for the state went to the Republican. And unlike some states, Florida law doesn’t allow so-called “faithless electors” and requires all participants in the electoral college to vote according to the election results.

As for the electors themselves, they get chosen ahead of the election by the state political parties. Gruters chairs the Republican Party of Florida and Ziegler serves as vice chair. King has long served as Manatee County’s Republican chair. Neal, once a Democratic state Senator, has been deeply involved for decades in state Republican politics as the current chair of Florida TaxWatch and former chair of the Christian Coalition of Florida.

This year marked Neal’s first time as a member of the electoral college. Florida’s members convened this year on the floor of the Florida Senate. ““Peaceful transition of power is the hallmark of our 230-year-old Republic,” he said. “I am very honored to play a small part.”

This year marked a return to the electoral college for Ziegler as well. He spoke of the opportunity in high terms, a chance to participate in a process conceived by the founding fathers.

”As a fan of history and our Constitution, I have had few greater honors and experiences in my life than serving as a Member of the Electoral College,” Ziegler said. “And with just 29 Electors in Florida and 538 across the country representing 320-plus million Americans, having one of the few front row seats in history is something I will always appreciate and never forget.”

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