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Miami-Dade Republicans to select new leader

In a show of unity after their party's successful election last month, Miami-Dade Republicans are expected to rally around a new, consensus leader Thursday.

State Rep. Erik Fresen is the only candidate seeking to replace U.S. Rep.-elect David Rivera, the county party's outgoing chairman. Rivera is stepping aside after a two-year term that ended with his victory in a heated Congressional race -- and with Republicans sweeping all of Florida's statewide races.

Fresen's unchallenged bid to lead the GOP in Florida's biggest county reflects his party's confidence that an elected official will be able to translate November's wave into wins in 2012 when Republicans will try to oust Democrats, including President Barack Obama to Sen. Bill Nelson. Fresen, however, cautioned against complacency: "I looked at this election cycle as just the tip of the iceberg.''

The next chairman's challenge will be to build on this year's triumphs. A majority of Miami-Dade voters cast ballots for Rivera and Sen.-elect Marco Rubio, even though registered Democrats in the county outnumber Republicans 44 percent to 30 percent. Full story here.