Gov. Rick Scott will give the keynote address at the Broward Republican Executive Committee's annual Lincoln Day dinner May 20 -- and then he flys to Chile later that night.
The gathering is the big event of the year for Broward Republicans to raise money and get pumped about helping their party hold on to statewide seats and maintain the rare notable elected seats they have in Broward.
Scott will likely make many stops in Broward leading up to the 2014 election as he seeks the votes from the county's 260,000 Republicans and 290,000 independents.
Other speakers include U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (by video), state Rep. George Moraitis, Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca, former state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff who lost re-election last year, and RNC co-chair Sharon Day.
Moraitis and LaMarca both face voters next year in eastern Broward. LaMarca, the lone Republican on the county commission, could face a re-match from the commissioner he ousted in 2010: Democrat Ken Keechl who says he will decide by the end of summer whether to run. That could be one of the most closely watched races on the Broward ballot as both men would attract donations and assistance from beyond the district: LaMarca is a former Broward GOP chair and Keechl was the county's first openly gay mayor.
So far, Moraitis faces Democrat Scott Herman, an openly gay man who lost by a landslide when he ran as a Republican against Rep. Perry Thurston in 2012. There is some buzz among Democrats about trying to oust Moraitis, but the well-known Fort Lauderdale lawyer has easily fended off underdogs in the past and no big name has stepped up to the plate. One name sometimes mentioned as a Democratic opponent is Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher, who was re-elected in March, but he doesn't appear interested.
"I'm perfectly content where I'm at right now," Fisher said.
The Lincoln Day dinner is at the Westin Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale -- it starts at 6:30 p.m. with the program starting at 8 p.m. For more details go to www.browardgop.org