Christian Ziegler, the vice chair of the Republican Party of Florida, who is running for the chairmanship, told Breitbart News Saturday about the successes the Sunshine State has seen over the past four years, noting that Republicans are in a strong position politically, particularly in terms of voter registration in Florida.
Florida will be electing its state chairman in a matter of weeks, Ziegler said, noting that his challenger is the chairman and lobbyist in Leon County. Ziegler also highlighted how important the chairmanship role is, particularly given how significant Florida is politically and the impact it has made over the past few years.
Ziegler explained that the Florida chairman essentially makes spending decisions to ensure the organization is successful. Day to day focus remains on ensuring the organization is raising money and providing resources in counties to drive get-out-the-vote efforts as well as voter registration. They also work with GOP candidates in presidential races, Senate races, congressional races, and elections at the state and local levels.
Ziegler noted that there are many “rockstars” in office from or living in Florida, including former President Donald Trump — a resident of Florida — as well as Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL).
“But you go really across our roster, we have a lot of rockstars, and my job as chairman would be to really make sure we’re all on the same page. We’re all moving forward together, we’re unified, and we’re ready to crush the Democrats in the November elections,” Ziegler said, adding that they will also focus on raising money and providing training to counties to drive out the vote, in addition to releasing a “heck of a lot of ads on Democrats as we get closer to the election.”
Ziegler attributed Florida Republicans’ great victories of late, in part, to the fact that it is “battle-tested.” He also said one cannot ignore DeSantis’s leadership, which has mobilized people. But as far as political apparatus, Ziegler said, the Florida GOP goes “all in with voter registration in the off year, you know, leading into the election.”
“We’re trying to run up that score in voter registration,” he said, explaining that there were 250,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in Florida when DeSantis first took office in 2018.
Now, there are more than 300,000 more Republicans than Democrats in Florida.
“So we’ve had this massive swing,” he said.
Ziegler provided another stunning data point, noting that one million net new people have moved to the state and registered to vote since DeSantis first took office.
“Out of a million, about half a million have registered as Republican, and only 17,000 have registered as Democrats. So we’re just obliterating the Democrats,” he said.
“I did not believe it. I had to go back and redo the numbers because I just couldn’t believe it, but it ends up being true,” he added.
Moving forward, Ziegler said the Florida GOP will expand and focus on local races, including school boards and city commissions.
“We’re gonna go aggressive in the local area to really remove these people that have overplayed their hand — and we saw that during COVID — and really deliver victories at the most local level, and that’s where we can frankly have the greatest impact. So it’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said, praising DeSantis for getting involved in some of those local races in 2022, bringing attention to the woke agenda pushed by school boards.
Ziegler also attributed some of Florida’s success to DeSantis daring to get involved in cultural issues.
“He understands there’s a cultural war going on. He knows what the left’s trying to do by taking over our schools and really influencing the most easily influenced demographic, which are children. … They’re shoving, you know, the CRT, 1619 stuff, the sexual stuff that they’re putting in schools with the content, but then, also like, now we got this. … There’s gender therapy and ideology that they’re pushing on children. And the governor recognizes that,” he said.
“He [DeSantis] goes all in, whereas other leaders and other states are too scared or nervous to touch those issues because they’re not traditional political issues. But he went all in on the cultural issues, and because of that, I can’t tell you how many people walked into the polls, and as they were walking in, they’re like, ‘Hey, I’m here to vote for DeSantis because I want to get this stuff out of our schools. I gotta protect my kids.’ And these are people that are typically never involved politically,” Ziegler continued, adding that the party is a professional organization that goes all in with voter registration, empowers leaders to make a difference at the local level, and goes “aggressive” in get-out-the-vote operations.
While Ziegler said he desires single-day, in-person voting, he said that is simply not reality right now, and the GOP needs to play the game.
“We do have to go after these vote-by-mail ballots in early voting because otherwise, the Democrats are just going to run up the score on us. So we recognize all that. We aggressively go after it, and we’re going to continue to do that. But that’s what the states need — is leadership, and then, they need a legitimate operation at the state level to be able to execute,” he added, offering advice to Republican parties across the country.
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