Politics

Lenny Curry: ‘We’re Going to (Re-)Elect the Members of our Cabinet’

By: Jim Turner | Posted: January 5, 2013 2:00 PM

Lenny Curry

RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry / Sunshine State News Archives

Lenny Curry -- easily re-elected chairman of the Republican Party of Florida despite the difficult 2012 contests for the GOP -- vowed to keep Gov. Rick Scott and the members of the Cabinet in their posts after they come up for re-election in 2014.

Florida GOP leaders re-elected Curry without opposition on Saturday at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando.

Blaise Ingoglia was re-elected as vice chairman without opposition. Secretary Kathleen King, from Manatee County, also was returned to her seat, taking the majority from among the 200 voting members over Stafford Jones, the head of the Alachua County Republican Party.

Curry received widespread support from leaders of the party, including Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, in large part because he was able to bring the party’s fiscal books back in order after the troubles from the term of Jim Greer.

“The Republican Party here in the state of Florida is strong and it’s going to get stronger,” Curry said after the vote. “You have my commitment on that.” Curry acknowledge there will always be internal dissension, noting that Lincoln -- as highlighted in the eponymously named movie blockbuster now in theaters -- constantly was questioned by his own Cabinet.

“Debate in the pursuit of truth and the pursuit of solutions, which is what we’re doing, that’s good and that’s healthy," Curry said.

Curry dismissed the perception that the GOP is the “party of no,” or “the party not for opportunity,” adding that the goal isn’t to eliminate government, but to make it work.

And while there has been some media speculation that low poll numbers could push Gov. Scott from the ballot, Curry said the focus of 2014 will be to re-elect Scott and the three members of the Florida Cabinet -- Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

“We’re going to elect the members of our Cabinet,” Curry said. “And we’re going to work our tail off to get the speaker and Senate president the majority so the conservative agenda, the agenda for the people of Florida, can pass easily.”

National Committeewoman, RNC Co-Chairwoman, Sharon Day was among those echoing Curry’s comments.

“There is nothing wrong with our message. There is nothing wrong with our party,” Day said.

“Don’t ever be embarrassed. We are the party of the right conviction and the party of the right principles.”

Curry was unanimously elected chairman in September 2011 by the 257-member Republican Executive Committee, taking over from David Bitner who had died earlier that month after a short battle with Lou Gehrig's disease.

After President Obama took Florida, with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando, retaining his seat, and the Florida House and Florida Senate both losing their supermajority holds, and voters kept three state Supreme Court justices in office despite opposition from the RPOF, Curry sent a letter to RPOF members asking to remain in office.



Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.



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