Saturday, November 18, 2006

Crist Names New Leader of FL GOP

Gov.-elect Charlie Crist has named Jim Greer, an Oviedo city councilman, to lead the state party through to the 2008 presidential election.

(St. Pete Times) "I intend to be an inclusive chairman to seek out the opinions of everyone, but be committed to the values and principles of the Republican Party," said Greer, who stood out in the Crist campaign for his work in the Orlando area.

"His heart's in it, he's a workaholic, he's got great passion, great energy and I know he'll do a great job and be very inclusive," Crist said Friday.

U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, hailed Greer as tireless and savvy, and both a principled conservative and pragmatic problem-solver. He also is a strong fundraiser.

Though the Florida GOP lost some ground in the Cabinet, state House and congressional delegation this year, it fared much better than Republicans in other states. Crist signaled no major shift in direction.

With the Greer selection on the heels of Bush's selection of Mel Martinez to lead the RNC, Central Florida has become the center of GOP leadership.

(Orlando Sentinel) Greer's selection came as a surprise to many Republican activists who had expected outgoing House Speaker Allan Bense, R-Panama City, to succeed Jordan, who was seen by many as having favored Crist rival Tom Gallagher in the Republican primary for governor.

Bense and Jordan are expected to join Crist tonight in introducing Greer to party activists gathered for a two-day meeting at the Rosen Centre Hotel.

Greer's long friendship with the governor-elect and his ability to "energize the grass roots" during the campaign convinced Crist that he was a leader who could both shape and direct the party, said Scott Peelen, Crist's Orange County finance chairman.

"We need energy to attract people who may be getting into politics for the first time, and Jim brings that," Peelen said. "It's a new direction, and I'm very pleased for our party and our state."

With both state and national GOP leaders from Central Florida, Orange County Republican Chairman Lew Oliver said the region would be "the center of the political epicenter."

Well, it looks like Republicans in the Orlando area are happy with the selection.
The Tallahassee Sentinel admits that it knows little about Mr. Greer. We'll do the research and comment later.

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