Gruters Undeterred as McDaniel Critics Fail to Show in Sarasota

Todays News

A special meeting was called in Sarasota for the Republican Party of Florida to take a stance on who should lead Republicans nationally. But not enough people showed up to even take a vote.

Critics of current Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel petitioned Joe Gruters, state chair for the RPOF and a Sarasota state Senator. A letter, penned by Lake County GOP Chair Anthony Sabatini, had enough signatures to force a meeting, and Gruters scheduled in his own hometown at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. But when a roll call was taken, just 71 of the 256 members of the state Republican Executive Committee made the trip. Indeed, a roll call showed no voting members from even neighboring DeSoto County could make the trip to Sarasota.

“I feel really bad for the people who traveled across the state to show up for four minutes,” Gruters said. “People wasted their time and money, and it’s just unfortunate.”

At the same time, Gruters remains undeterred in his own support for re-election McDaniel. As state chair, he is one of just three people in Florida who actually have a vote in that Jan. 27 election. Notably, Bradenton Republican Kathleen King, Florida’s national committeewoman, also has a vote and also intends to back McDaniel. Peter Feaman, a South Florida Republican and national committeeman, is supporting California attorney Harmeet Dhillon for RNC chair instead.

While the special meeting failed to attract a quorum, critics of McDaniel did stage a rally opposing the RNC chair, and it attracted more than 200 people, most of who are not members of the RNC. That event was hosted by The Hollow 2A, a Venice-based group with ties to former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

“We’re tired of a weak Republican Party,” said Collier County State Committeeman Alfie Oakes, one of the headliners speaking at the rally.

Gruters, whose term as RPOF Chair ends next month, is also running for RNC Treasurer, and hopes to work with McDaniel in that role. Many attendees at the rally directed their ire directly at Gruters. Some carried signs asking him by name to rescind his support from McDaniel. Sally Nista, a local Republican activist openly affiliated with the Proud Boys, could be spotted waiving a sign supporting K.C. Crosbie, Gruters’ opponent in the race for RNC treasurer.

 

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