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Key Miami Dade Republican gets support from Liberty Caucus in dispute about Ted Cruz endorsement

The Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida is calling on Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia to intervene in the dispute between Dade County Republican Executive Committee Chairman Nelson Diaz and Vice Chairman Manny Roman. Diaz says that Roman violated a party rule by publicly endorsing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz‘s presidential bid, and he has scheduled a motion to consider removing Roman as vice chairman of the REC on Thursday night.

Bob White, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, says it would be hypocritical for Roman to be removed from his position, considering the fact that Joe Gruters, chairman of the Sarasota County Republican Executive Committee, has not been removed from his post even though he is concurrently chairman for Donald Trump’s Florida presidential campaign.

“If Manny Roman is forced out in Dade County shouldn’t Joe Gruters be forced out of his leadership positions?” writes White to Ingoglia in a letter distributed to the media Sunday night. “What about the hundreds if not thousands of Republican Executive Committee members around the state that are actively involved in the campaigns of various candidates for President? Should they all be expected to resign or be forced out of their party leadership positions? Of course not!”

White says that the real reason that Republicans with the Miami-Dade REC want to oust Roman is that he is supporting a candidate not named Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, both of whom carry considerable support in their hometown. Roman also says that is the case.

Members of a party’s executive committee like Roman must sign a loyalty oath agreeing not to get formally involved in Republican primaries. Roman broke that oath, Diaz said, when his party title was used in a Miami Herald letter to the editor endorsing Cruz.

As POLITICO Florida reported last week, after Roman sent his letter to the newspaper, it changed his listed title to include mention of his formal party affiliation. After he reached out, the newspaper changed his title back to “Republican activist.”

Meanwhile, the Republican Liberty Caucus of Miami says they will host a “Keep Manny Roman” rally in support of Roman before the Dade County REC meeting.

“Were calling on everyone that can to turn out and support Manny Roman’s principled leadership as Vice Chairman of the Dade County Republican Executive Committee,” Dade County REC member Hector Roos said.

The Republican Liberty Caucus calls itself a 527 voluntary grassroots membership organization “dedicated to working within the Republican Party to advance the principles of individual rights, limited government and free markets. “

Here’s White’s letter to Ingoglia:

Dear Chairman Ingoglia:

As I’m sure you are aware, Dade County REC Chairman Nelson Diaz has scheduled a motion for consideration at this Thursday’s Dade County REC meeting to remove Manny Roman as Vice Chairman of the Dade County Republican Executive Committee. The charge is that the vice chairman violated a rule that party leaders must remain neutral in primaries. We both know there is no such rule; certainly not an RPOF rule and I understand there is no Dade county rule either.

The supposed rule violation is that Vice Chairman Roman endorsed Ted Cruz in a letter to the editor of the Miami Herald. In his letter he did not reference his position as a party officer or member of the executive committee so there is no violation of the Loyalty Oath. The Herald identified him as Dade Co. REC Vice Chairman but that is beyond his control, just as it is with all of the press Joe Gruters has received as Chairman of the Donald Trump Florida Campaign while simultaneously serving as RPOF Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Sarasota County Republican Executive Committee. If Manny Roman is forced out in Dade County shouldn’t Joe Gruters be forced out of his leadership positions? What about the hundreds if not thousands of Republican Executive Committee members around the state that are actively involved in the campaigns of various candidates for President? Should they all be expected to resign or be forced out of their party leadership positions? Of course not!

It is no secret that the Chairman of the Dade County Republican Executive Committee is a friend and supporter of Marco Rubio, though he claims neutrality due to his role as Chairman of the REC. This is a blatantly political move on the Chairman’s part to punish the Vice Chairman for supporting a candidate other than Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush. It should not be allowed to stand. Therefore, I call on you to use the influence of your good office as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida to intervene on behalf of Vice Chairman Roman and demand in the strongest possible terms that Chairman Diaz stand down in his misguided attempt to have the Vice Chairman removed from office. It is this kind of behavior that sullies the reputation of the Republican Party of Florida and it should not be tolerated!

In Liberty!

Bob White

Chairman

Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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