Gruters Confident in GOP Control in Sarasota

Todays News

Whatever happens in the redistricting process for state legislative districts, Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, feels confident this region will have Republican representation next year.

“I don’t care how the districts are drawn, the way Sarasota is going from a voter registration standpoint, I expect major wins,” Gruters said.

Gruters, in addition to holding his Senate seat, serves as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. He technically holds the role of republican Party of Sarasota County chair, though Jack Brill has served as acting county chair since Gruters ascended to his statewide position in the party. At the state level, Republicans appear on the verge of holding an edge in number of Florida registered voters for the first time ever.

According to the most recent data from the Division of Elections, there were 23,551 ore registered Democrats than Republicans as of August 31. That’s out of 14,279,017 total voters. The gap is down from Democrats holding a 134,242-voter edge at the time of the 2020 general election.

“We’re going to blow them and we’re never going to look back,” Gruters said.

In Sarasota County, the GOP has long held an edge. Here there’s 43,061 more registered Republicans than Democrats, and 353,761 voters total.

Today, Gruters serves as the only state Senator for Sarasota County, but maps will be redrawn before the next election. On that front, Gruters said he’s had no real involvement and is looking from the outside, not serving on the Senate Reapportionment Committee. “I’m just a Senator,” he said. “I’m interested in learning more about these maps.”

He’ll get a vote on the final maps for Congress, state Senate and state House, which could impact the politics of this region and beyond for a decade. But he said he just wants the maps to stand up to court scrutiny. “I want them to get it right,” he said. “I want there to be no question marks, and I am sure we have the leadership in place to make sure that happens.”

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