Christian Ziegler wants to make life a little easier for Republican state committeemen and women if they select him to be the Republican Party of Florida’s next chair. Gone, Ziegler says, are the days of scrambling to quickly draft up press releases, make event flyers and reach out to voters. A new development is on the horizon -- and it will focus all on collaboration among the party faithful.
On Tuesday, Ziegler unveiled a new tool to swap ideas and make party happenings much smoother. Dubbed the “GOPExchange,” the new website is a “centralized system” to allow state and county Republican Party leaders to share ideas and resources across Florida.
The new exchange website, Ziegler told Sunshine State News, will help the Republican Party become more like a cohesive unit rather than 67 different counties operating solo.
“The whole idea is to turn the party into more of a franchise model where you have the individual franchisees at the state [level],” he said. “There’s no reason why we can’t just share resources.”
The new site will allow users to upload documents like fundraising letters, direct mail pieces, event invitations and voter guides.
By bringing all of these pieces into one website, party members can easily copy strategies and use them in their own home counties. The site is currently closed off to the public, leaving only a login screen on the launch page.
Right now, each of the 67 Republican Party offices across the state essentially march to the beats of their own drums, which means they’re on their own if they need to draft up a press release or send out a Lincoln Day Dinner invitation.
If members have close relationships with other party leaders, they can get in touch with them and ask for help, but the GOPExchange makes that task much simpler.
With a click of a button, county parties can get the best of the best to make their public relations strategies go off without a hitch.
If elected state chairman, Ziegler has pledged to hire staffers who will take custom requests from members of the site, tailoring letters, releases and invitations to fit individual counties’ needs.
The idea, Ziegler told SSN, was one party members had thought about creating for a long time, but hadn’t gotten around to executing.
“It’s something Joe [Gruters] and I have talked about in the past, brainstorming things the party should be doing,” Ziegler said. “We never really executed on it, but we did discuss it.”
Though it’s only in beta for now, Ziegler has high hopes for the GOPExchange. Feedback had been positive so far, and the Sarasota Republican said it was the right step to put party members back on the ground to win over Floridians.
“Let’s get them off the computer and get them into the community,” he told SSN.
Ziegler faces off against RPOF chair Blaise Ingoglia for the job Saturday. Though the two have not exchanged jabs directly, behind-the-scenes drama has erupted and there is an evident sense of discord between the two nominees.
Just last week, Ingoglia himself unveiled his own proposal, “Project Majority Red,” to turn Florida Republican permanently.
Ziegler said Ingoglia’s plan was “vague,” countering the project with his own idea to push the party forward.
“This is a real system that works and will be HUGE for county parties,” he told SSN.
Sprinting into the final stretch, Ziegler isn’t worried.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I think my numbers are good. I don’t want to call it an upset because I feel like I’m the favorite, but I feel people are going to be surprised.”
The election will be held Saturday in Orlando.
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