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Politics

Ingoglia Seals the Deal, Trounces Ziegler for RPOF Chair

January 14, 2017 - 11:15am
Blaise Ingoglia and Christian Ziegler
Blaise Ingoglia and Christian Ziegler

Republican Party of Florida chairman Blaise Ingoglia can hold his title for a little longer -- on Saturday, Ingoglia sealed his fate as the party’s new chair, knocking out opponent Christian Ziegler in one of the nastiest chair races in party history. 

Ingoglia took 152 votes to Ziegler’s 76 votes. 

Ingoglia said the party’s work was not over. Republicans reached the summit of a mountain many said was impossible to scale in 2016.

“Every time the naysayers said we were going to fail, we succeeded against all odds,” he told the party faithful Saturday. “Against all expert predictions we delivered. Despite all [of the] naysayers and a lot of Republicans who were rooting for us to fail...we delivered.”

Ziegler ran on a platform pledging to be a full time chairman, dedicating his entire career to building the party goals and reuniting a party fractured by deep wounds left from Ingoglia’s takeover. 

“It will be up to us to deliver [in future elections],” Ziegler told the crowd. “To do this, we must be fully united...and be unaffected by outside sources.”

Ziegler, a fervent Trump supporter, said he sees many similarities between himself and the President-elect, calling himself an “outsider” who simply wants to help the party succeed. 

In the end, party members decided to stay the course with Ingoglia at the helm.


U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said the time to look ahead to future elections was already upon Republicans. The time was now, he said, to keep Ingoglia in his job.

“I’m so impressed with the grassroots work he’s done as chairman," Rubio said. "The president’s reelection effort needs to begin already. It’s hard to think about it in those terms...but reelection has already started and it needs to start with a strong RPOF.”

Ingoglia was widely rumored to be the favorite in the election but as the weeks went on the campaign for chairman turned ugly and some questioned how large his lead really was. 

Grassroots members of the party began a massive campaign against Ingoglia, accusing him of playing favorites in the Florida Republican presidential primary election for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio over President-elect Donald Trump, who swept Florida and later the nation in an historic upset.

Emails flooded party members’ inboxes this week, urging them to make Saturday Ingoglia’s last day on the job. 

The woman behind the emails, Broward Trump campaign chairwoman Dolly Rump, said Ingoglia and the RPOF were pro-Rubio, not pro-Trump -- so Ingoglia had to go.

“I’ve worked with these people [in the RPOF] in Broward,” she told Sunshine State News Saturday. “It was like pulling teeth to get offices. When it came time to the delegates who were Trump supporters, the only delegates that were selected who were Trump supporters were given token spots.”

Ingoglia’s feathers were ruffled and he even asked RPOF Vice Chair Joe Gruters to intervene on his behalf. Gruters came to Ingoglia’s defense, slamming the negative campaigning and saying Ingoglia was truly on Team Trump and help delivered a win to the party last year.

In spite of the bad publicity, Ingoglia was thankful to keep his job for another two years.

“I do truly believe this party is going to emerge stronger because of competition,” he said. “I think I will be a better chairman [because of it.]"

Unity, Ingoglia said, was the party’s overall goal -- and the time to come together, he said, is now.

“We cannot afford to lose a millisecond fighting amongst ourselves....it makes our jobs harder,” he said. “We have to remain focused...We are not our own enemies.”

 

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


READ MORE FROM SUNSHINE STATE NEWS
 

Comments

funny times, took a basic pounding from complete outsiders, then re-elect the person responsible for the pounding. The two biggest jobs in politics in FL and the US were won by complete outsiders and anti-party champions. As an independent, I find it hilarious that the mantra now is we dominated and knew it all along...classic.

ok kids, everyone doesn't get a trophy in the real world. You have to be involved and earn the respect. Blaise had a two year plan and it worked.

I do not know why these young kids get cases of "hurry up" You have to earn the right to be Chairman of the RPOF. Pay your dues. Been around long enough so people know your name and respect you for your involvement. Trump didn't win Florida on a fluke, we have worked 2 years

I do not know why these young kids get cases of "hurry up" You have to earn the right to be Chairman of the RPOF. Pay your dues. Been around long enough so people know your name and respect you for your involvement. Trump didn't win Florida on a fluke, we have worked 2 years

Thank God Blaise Ingolia won He Definately is the very best person for this job. he has proven himself to be a winner

Congratulations, Blaise. You have done an outstanding job as our Republican Party of Florida Chairman. Here in Marianna, Florida, we are behind you 100%. My best wishes to you for the next two years and beyond. There is no one else who is more qualified tthan you to Chair our Republican Party. Keep up the good work for the state of Florida and for the Republican party. Linda Bermes Secretary, REC - Marianna, Florida

Decent article Allison BUT, it would have been much better without the inclusion of Mr. Rubio, who only cares about HIS future earnings and to heck with Florida's residents and tax payers! GO TRUMP!!

Whew..! That was close... It didn't need to be,.. and should never have been: "Ziggy" the upstart apparently suffers from "too much too soon" (Just like Marco Polio),..(Bet "Ziggy" wishes he had been up against "Paddy-boy", don't call me "Erin" just because I still live in "Mom's" basement" Murphy too!)... [Politicians ARE strange; EVERYBODY wants to be one and have a "government mammary" to hang off of so they can retire/with pension in a couple years 'of doing nothing' but patting each other (and of course themselves) on the back]. TERM LIMITS!!!!!!!!!! No less than fifteen (15) years in ANY elected position ("President" doesn't need a pension; he gets lifetime Secret Service protection for his whole family),... or... no pension except your own IRA (THAT could revive the term "Statesman" in American politics, and replace the term "corrupt, thieving, politician...Read: "EXTORTION" by Peter Scweitzer)

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