Brill Elected GOP Chair Through 2024

Todays News

After running the Republican Party of Sarasota County for four years in every practical sense, Jack Brill was elected chair of the county GOP. He won the election by a vote of 167 to 134 in the last Republican Executive Committee meeting over Conni Brunni.

“We won, and we are moving forward to 2024,” Brill said. “We are very diversified, the Republican Party of Sarasota County, and we have to represent all of the Republicans in Sarasota County.”

Brunni’s bid was charged by the support of Gen. Michael Flynn, a former national security advisor to former President Donald Trump who now lives in South Sarasota County. Flynn has become part of a political movement in the region that gathers regularly at The Hollow and has become increasingly involved in local politics.

But Brill said the party’s success in the area is built on a thorough operation top to bottom. He notes the local GOP won 28 out of 29 elections this year, losing only the Sarasota City Commission election where Democrats Jennifer Ahearn-Koch and Debbie Trice won seats over Republican Dan Lobeck in a heavily Democratic city. But the party this year won a School Board majority, with Bridget Ziegler re-elected and Tim Enos and Robyn Marinelli elected to open seats. And the party won a Sarasota County Commission election with Republican nominee Mark Smith in a Democrat-plurality seat.

Brill has worked as acting party chair the last four years. The title of county chair through that time officially was held by Joe Gruters, who served the past four years as Republican Party of Florida chair. One notable aspect of Gruters not seeking re-election to the county post is that he is not currently eligible to run again for state chair, all but confirming he will step aside from the statewide post.

Besides Brill, the county party elected Al Rothbauer as vice chair, Neil Rainford as secretary and Martha Maloney as treasurer. Newcomer Maloney was the one officer elected from the “Make America Great Again” wing of the local party.

Now Brill wants to focus on tasks at hand instead of his own election. “As you know, we will probably be a stop-through for all the Republican presidential candidates,” Brill said.

He also wants to build a bench in the local GOP to ensure long-term dominance in politics, and noted 10 or 11 elected officials in the county are under the age of 40. He also wants to continue efforts to register voters. And while GOP performance at the polls and in-person early voting is always strong, Brill said the party needs to get serious about vote-by-mail efforts this election cycle.

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