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Andy Palmer to lead Republican Party of FL as exec. director

We're getting word that Andy Palmer, former Republican Party utility man and elections wiz, will be tapped to become RPOF's new executive director. Two weeks ago, when Palmer's name was floated, there wasn't a bad word to be said of him (from Republicans, that is). Palmer said he wasn't sure if Gov. Rick Scott, who summoned him to the Capitol, wanted him for the job.

Scott was/is a big fan of Palmer's. But a big problem stood in the way: He was being offered big money to work  somewhere in the private sector. Still, Scott et al persisted and persuaded Palmer to stay in the party fold. Good news for the GOP. Bad news for Dems.

** Update: Here's the press release:

Republican Party of Florida Chairman David Bitner announced today the selection of Andy Palmer as the Party’s Executive Director. Palmer’s responsibilities begin immediately. “I am pleased to announce that we have appointed Andy Palmer to serve as the RPOF’s Executive Director,” said Chairman Bitner. “Andy is well qualified for this endeavor, with an outstanding work ethic, commitment to the job, and character. I look forward to having Andy at my side every step of the way.”

An experienced Florida political professional, Palmer brings a proven track record to the job. Having served as Executive Director in 2005 and 2006, Palmer understands the responsibilities of serving as the Party’s Executive Director. During his previous service as Executive Director–-during a poor climate for the GOP nationally—Palmer was instrumental in securing the election of a Republican Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of Agriculture in Florida. Palmer also served as the Party’s “72 Hour Program” director in 2004, during which he ran a program that was recognized at the time as the most successful of its kind, making over three million voter contacts in the 72-hour period prior to the election.

“I applaud the selection of Andy Palmer and my team and I look forward to working with him and Chairman Bitner,” said Governor Rick Scott. “Over the next two years, Republicans across the state will focus on a Presidential Primary and Presidency 5, as well as hosting the Republican National Convention. Andy will be an effective leader and he enjoys my full confidence,” said Governor Rick Scott. Most recently, Palmer served as the Director of House Campaigns, helping defeat five Democrat incumbents and electing 81 members, securing a supermajority in the Florida House of Representatives.

“Under Andy’s management, House Campaigns saw tremendous successes during the 2010 election cycle,” said House Speaker Dean Cannon. “Andy demonstrated an incredible ability to limit overhead. He ran a productive and lean operation, ensuring that more funding than ever before was spent directly toward our House candidates. I have every confidence that Andy will bring the same successful leadership approach and commitment to fiscal accountability to his new position as Executive Director of the Party. I look forward to working with him in the future.”

“Andy Palmer is a great choice to serve as the RPOF’s Executive Director,” said Senate President Mike Haridopolos. “Andy has an outstanding track record of success in Florida. With Andy running the day to day operations, I am confident that the Republican Party of Florida is in good hands and will be well prepared to ensure Republican success at the ballot box in 2012.” Palmer is a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. He is married to Kristen Palmer and they have three children.