The Miami-Dade Republican Party punished one of its officers Thursday for publicly backing Ted Cruz for president, but stopped short of booting him off the local executive board.
Vice-Chairman Manny Roman had been threatened with ouster after his Cruz endorsement sparked an ugly internal fight. Instead, the Republican Executive Committee censured Roman, reprimanding him with a 66-12 vote for what a majority of GOP members considered violating a loyalty oath that bars party officers from publicly supporting one Republican over another. Roman maintained he was singled out for bucking party loyalists who prefer local presidential candidates Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush.
“Today was a sad day for the Republican Party,” Roman said after the vote. “This was very well orchestrated by the political establishment in Miami.”
Chairman Nelson Diaz declined to comment, other than to say, “We are a united party.” An attempt by Roman supporters to censure Diaz quickly failed.
Diaz had initially sought Roman’s removal, but GOP rules require a more formal process to kick someone off the board, including advance notice via certified mail. Roman said he had advised the Republican Party of Florida he would file a formal grievance if he were kicked out. His backers characterized the censure as a way to “contain” further political fallout.
A note for insiders: The 66-12 vote margin means 85 percent of REC members agreed to censure Roman. That's enough for the two-thirds majority required to remove Roman, had the committee pursued that route.