Today's date is February 26, 2020

RPOF Chair Forum to be closed to press and most of GOP; Unhappy members speak out


When the four candidates running to be the next Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida sit down to debate this Friday in Tampa, many of members of their party and the media won’t be able to attend.

In a chain of emails sent out this morning by RPOF Debate organizers, the rules state “the forum will only be open to SEC Members, their verified (and badged) guests and RPOF staff” and also outlines that the forum will only be taped if all four candidates agree to it.

The quarterly meeting takes place this weekend in Tampa, when many families have just returned from Thanksgiving trips, and are preparing for the Holiday rush.

Some Committee-persons were unhappy with the conditions laid out by organizers. They believed the event was not as transparent as it should be. In an email exchange, one Committee-person said the following..

The voting members (all state committeemen/woman) of RPOF were just informed this morning by the that the chairman debate will be a closed session (no press or visitors allowed). I completely disagree with this as do many others.

I would like to ask: What are we hiding? Are we not willing to include the grassroots, our REC and chartered club member and the people of Florida (you know the people he/she will be representing when elected chair)?

I have yet to hear from Vice Chair Blaise, Chairman Leslie or Chairman Kurt of whom are running for the chairman’s seat. Their thoughts on broadcasting the debate appear to be a secret?

I am very disappointed with all this secrecy. This is my/our party and WE should have a say on what goes on and how things are handled, not a few hiding in the dark who are afraid to come out in the light. This is our party and I/we want to have a say.

Everyone talks about reaching out and growing the party. If you don’t start including people especially those who are actually IN the party, how do you expect it to grow? Transparency, accountability and communication is the key lest we not forget. Have we not learned from our past mistakes…inclusion vs exclusion?

The four candidates running for Chair include, Leslie Dougher, who is running for reelection, Grassroots Challenger Eric Miller, State Representative Blaise Ingoglia, and former State Representative Kurt Kelly.

Closed Meeting


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  1. Pingback: RPOF Chair Debate Organizers to take vote on opening up forum to press and all GOP members | The Orlando Political Observer

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