A former Sarasota commissioner will lead Florida Republicans
Florida Republicans chose former Sarasota County Commissioner Christian Ziegler on Saturday to be party chairman, as it is heading into a 2024 election in which the state could be center stage for GOP presidential politics.
The vote was 126 for Ziegler, the party's current vice chair, to 100 for Evan Power, who chairs the GOP in Leon County, which includes the state capital, Tallahassee. Power was elected vice chair of the state GOP, the party announced on Twitter.
Ziegler was first elected to the county commission in 2018, but chose not to run for reelection and left office in November. He also is the founder and CEO of a Sarasota-based digital marketing, public relations firm that works with businesses, non-profit groups, political organizations and candidates.
The GOP saw major successes in the 2022 election in Florida, topped by Gov. Ron DeSantis' 19-percentage point victory over Democrat Charlie Crist and a growing lead in Republican voter registration.
DeSantis is widely expected to run for president in 2024, sharing the Florida stage with former President Donald Trump, who declared his candidacy from his Mar-a-Lago compound in November.
“Florida is the winning model. Let’s show the nation how it’s done!,” the state GOP said in a tweet congratulating Ziegler.
Ziegler will replace state Sen. Joe Gruters of Sarasota, who decided not to run for reelection after holding the state chair position since 2019.
Ziegler’s wife, Bridget, is a DeSantis-endorsed Sarasota County school board member who is active in recruiting conservatives to run for school boards around the country.
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