A Sarasota County Republican announced Thursday that he will challenge Blaise Ingoglia to become the next chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. Christian Ziegler, a state committeeman from Sarasota since 2012, announced in an email to GOP party officials he intends to run for the post.
Ziegler, a strong supporter of Gov. Rick Scott over the years, stressed in his email he wants to help re-unify the party. Since Ingoglia won the top post over Scott’s pick for RPOF, Scott and the Florida Senate have pulled their money from the RPOF.
“I believe we must be an independent-yet-unified Republican Party of Florida, with a Chairman whose sole focus is strengthening the Party within the most important political state in the union,” Ziegler said in his email. “I will make this my full-time mission.”
Ziegler, 33, said in an interview that he wants to create an organization that can deliver Republican victories.
Ingoglia, who is on vacation, responded on Facebook by declaring his intention to run for a second term at RPOF chairman.
"I want everyone to know that I will indeed be running for a second term as the Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida," the Hernando County Republican wrote. "In 2014, when I originally announced my candidacy for Chairman, I did so promising much needed reforms and focusing on delivering our 29 ...electoral votes to our Republican nominee. We not only delivered on our promises, we delivered historic wins for Senator Marco Rubio, our Congressional delegation, our Florida legislature, and delivered by winning the State of Florida for the first time since 2004 for now President-elect Donald Trump."
From Ziegler's announcement email:
"As we turn the page from the election, we have a lot of work to do over the next two years to ensure victory in 2018 -- work that takes focus and resources. In addition to supporting the Trump Administration, we will need to strengthen our Republican Party of Florida to send an ally to the U.S. Senate who will work alongside our great Senator, Marco Rubio. We will need to replace our term-limited Governor and the entire Cabinet, in addition to protecting majorities in the State Senate and House of Representatives. And we will need to win the many Congressional and local races across our great state.
To help generate the momentum, unity and resources we need to accomplish this, I am excited to announce my candidacy for Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, and ask for your support."