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Politics

Carlos Lopez-Cantera Backs Blaise Ingoglia for RPOF Chair

January 9, 2017 - 10:00am
Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Blaise Ingoglia
Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Blaise Ingoglia

Florida Lieutenant Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera is signing off for Republican Party of Florida chairman Blaise Ingoglia, endorsing him for his reelection bid Monday morning.

"During the last three years I have traveled tens of thousands of miles across our wonderful state and had the pleasure of spending time with so many dedicated members of our party," Lopez-Cantera said. "More times, and in more counties than I can remember, our Chairman Blaise Ingoglia was there too. As a former State Committeeman for Miami-Dade I can't tell you how much I appreciate a Chairman who travels the state spending time at local REC events all the while seeking input on building up our local parties, meeting with grassroots leaders and then putting those ideas into action."

CLC said he "couldn't recall" a time during his 20 years involved in the RPOF in which a chairman had been so heavily involved in the process and in committing to turning the state red. 

"In 2016, Blaise's leadership as Chairman brought us success beyond the expectations of many. He has proven to all of us that his leadership will grow on those successes for an even greater 2018!"

Lopez-Cantera's endorsement comes just days before the state GOP is scheduled to meet for its quarterly meeting in Orlando. 

Ingoglia will face off against Sarasota Republican Committeeman Christian Ziegler for the two-year stint. 

The Spring Hill Republican state representative has held the position since 2015, when he knocked Gov. Rick Scott's hand-picked chair, Leslie Dougher, to win the seat. 

Since then, the relationship between the party and Scott has been strained, with Scott leaving the party to fundraise solo. 

Lopez-Cantera's endorsement is the second Ingoglia has nabbed in the Scott Cabinet, a gesture which rings largely symbolic. 

Time heals all wounds, and it could be the first steps in mending the hurt left over by Ingoglia's takeover. 

Ingoglia has run a fierce public campaign, flexing endorsements left and right. He started off his bid for reelection with 113 endorsements from local chairs. 

Two months later, Ingoglia has the endorsements of grassroots activists, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, future Florida Senate presidents and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. 

Ziegler, meanwhile, hasn't fared as well in the endorsements department but told Sunshine State News the endorsements "didn't matter" since votes for Chair are cast in a secret ballot. 

“If endorsements decided elections, then Leslie Dougher would have been re-elected and Donald Trump wouldn’t [have been] our nominee,” Ziegler said. “There are a lot of people on his list that say ‘The chairman is putting pressure on me.’ Every time he releases lists of endorsements, there’s a good number of people who I think I will get their vote.”

Ziegler has pledged to be a different type of chairman should the party pick him to run the show, vowing to quit his job and take on party chairman duties full time. 

The election will be held Jan. 14 in Orlando. 

 

Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.

 


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