Blaise Ingoglia, 47, who lit up the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) with unprecedented achievement in two terms as chairman, announced Tuesday he will not seek a third.
“After much consideration, I have decided to not run for a third term as RPOF chairman,” Ingoglia said in a written statement. “Many people dream of going out on top, and with the unprecedented and undeniable success the Republican Party of Florida has had over the past four years -- this is my opportunity.
"We won back-to-back Super Bowls when the ‘chattering class and pundits’ were picking us last in our division.
"It has been an incredible ride and an absolute honor to serve as chairman in the largest swing state in the nation, while leading and working alongside some of the hardest working people in politics, our grassroots," he continued. "I take great pride in knowing how hard we worked to help elect a commander-in-chief who has taken on the status quo, a new governor in Ron DeSantis who gets to choose the next three Florida Supreme Court justices and a new U.S. senator in Rick Scott to work alongside U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio to help deliver on the campaign promises of President Trump.
"As a big proponent of term limits for RPOF members, it's time for me to step aside to allow fresh ideas and new energy to lead the committee into another crucial election.
“Please know that just because I will no longer be serving as chair, it does not mean I will not continue to work hard alongside our grassroots to ensure Republican wins, including President Donald Trump’s re-election next cycle.
“I look forward to my increased responsibilities in the Florida House legislative leadership, continuing to grow my business in a great economy thanks to Republican policies, and spending more time with my wife and best friend, Julie,” concluded Ingoglia.
Here is a sampling of Ingoglia's successes as chairman:
- Flipped 14 counties from Democrat to majority Republican;
- Achieved an all-time historic-high absentee ballot return rate for presidential and gubernatorial elections;
- Cut the statewide Democratic registration lead by almost half;
- Created and produced the now-iconic Sunshine Summit;
- Hosted the first-ever Florida Gubernatorial Primary Debate, broadcast nationally on a major news network;
- Hired the first Latino bilingual communications director in RPOF history;
- Won a U.S. Senate seat, giving Florida two Republican senators for the first time since reconstruction;
- Hosted Florida delegation events at the RNC Convention which were widely heralded as the best ever;
- Hosted two U.S. vice presidents at fundraising dinners;
- Reformed quarterly meetings to incorporate in depth training;
- Emphasized social media use and micro-targeting for political campaigns and messaging;
- Started statewide "Trump Republican Clubs”;
- Created coalition committees, including the Minority Engagement Committee and the Next Generation Committee.
Todd Lewis, one of the posters on Ingoglia's Facebook page, summed up the chairman's mystique best the morning after the 2016 General Election, when most of the world was still in shock:"
The victories Republicans saw up and down the ballot, all overthe state are a credit to the state and local parties. They were able to accomplish what the 'experts' thought was impossible. These historic victories were possible thanks to the leadership and vision of RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia. When he took over the state party 2 years ago he promised that on November 8th we will be able to raise a glass and toast our new Republican president! While he was technically wrong (2:40 a.m., Nov. 9), he knocked this out of the park ... we are blessed to have him as head of our party."
Jump to 2018 midterms ... While the TV talking heads and other political heads predicted disaster for the Republican Party, RPOF's leadership shone. It had the organization to get the job done and an embarrassment of riches in terms of candidates to run. Most important, Florida Republicans had an entirely credible chairman who -- against all odds -- did what he promised.
Blaise Ingoglia, the one-time player on the World Poker Tour -- state representative from Spring Hill in Hernando County -- played his hand masterfully since the day he was elected in January 2015. He'll be a tough act to follow.