A new Sheriff has come to town to run the Republican Party of Florida, as Vice Chairman Blaise Ingoglia, the one candidate the GOP “establishment” worked the hardest against, won the chairman’s election on a second ballot over incumbent Chairwoman Leslie Dougher.Ingoglia and Dougher moved on to a second sudden death vote after the two managed to garner the majority of the committee’s support in the first round of voting, leaving Kurt Kelly and Eric Miller as the two odd men out.
RPOF staffers were visibly shaken and in disbelief that Ingoglia edged out Dougher on the first vote by a margin of 80-79.
Eric Miller graciously accepted his defeat and instructed his supporters to back Ingoglia over Dougher on the second vote
The second vote was a 132-90 landslide victory for Ingoglia.
Staffers were so dumbfounded by Dougher’s loss that Ingoglia had to put on his best poker face and gavel them all back into the meeting after they all suddenly went missing from the hall in which the meeting was taking place, causing a brief delay to the remainder of the meeting.RPOF Executive Director Justin Johnson took the loss especially hard, resigning his post a couple of hours after Ingoglia won the election.
But the RPOF staff behavior got even more bizarre, as Miami Herald’s Marc “Frisbee” Caputo stated on Twitter:
Hours after @GovGoneWild surprise win as RPOF chair, exec director @justonjohnson quits. But party still hasn’t congratulated Blaise
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) January 17, 2015
To make things worse, the Senate Majority Committee has just gutted the RPOF of cash, pulling out $800K, leaving Ingoglia $10K to work with.
Matt Dixon post this:
The Senate Majority committee pulled out roughly $800,000 from the state GOP infrastructure, leaving just $10,000.
The move is being done for at least two reasons.
First, Dougher was defeated by Blaise Ingoglia, a Spring Hill Republican who also serves as a state representative. There was some concern about a state Representative having ultimate control over the pot of money used for Senate campaigns.
The larger issue, however, was Dougher’s loss. She was supported by Senate President Andy Gardiner and other Senate leaders, all of whom were concerned that if their supported pick lost, they would have a more difficult time easily accessing Senate Victory funds headed into what will be a volatile election cycle.
The Democrat Party is already having a field day with his show of GOP disunity between committee members and staffers of the Florida GOP, as well as with the Republican-led state Senate.