Jack Brill named Acting Chair for Sarasota GOP

Jack Brill
Joe Gruters will be busy running Florida's GOP.

With Joe Gruters splitting time between the Florida Senate and Republican Party of Florida, the Sarasota Republican announced Jack Brill will serve as acting chairman for the Republican Party of Sarasota.

“Jack has been integral to running the Republican Party of Sarasota for the past few years and his role as Acting Chairman will make Party leadership seamless,” Gruters said.

Since Gruters’ election to state House in 2016, Brill has played a larger role in organizing party events.

Gruters must hold a state executive committee position such as county chairman in order to serve as state chair for the Florida GOP.

He initially planned not to seek election to another term as county chairman after his election to the Florida Senate, but he surfaced as Gov. Ron DeSantispick to lead the state party.

Brill appeared to be the front-runner to take over as Sarasota county chair, but when Gruters ran for another term instead, Brill ran for vice chair.

But immediately, both men made clear Gruters’ focus would be on statewide politics while Brill would keep tabs on Sarasota County operations. Now Gruters has all but bestowed the chair title upon Brill.

“It’s pretty special in that respect,” Brill said.

The acting Sarasota GOP leader said the focus of the party won’t change. First and foremost, the county operation wants to deliver votes to re-elect President Donald Trump in 2020. Beyond that, the party wants badly to take a state House seat back from Democrat Margaret Good, who won re-election by a smaller margin than expected in November.

“Since she [Good] only won by 1,100 votes, I expect to take that seat back,” Brill said.

Beyond that, the party mostly will play defense. The county holds all but one county constitutional office, and will defend a county commission seat in 2020. That defense was made a little more challenging by a recent switch to single-member district elections.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]

One comment

  • cheryl cook

    February 2, 2019 at 3:40 am

    Jack Brill, along with the Sarasota County Republican Executive leadership is responsible for pointed attacks on lifelong Republican Deborah Anderson in 2017, which included retroactive punishment for Mrs. Anderson endorsing, a year and a half previously, anti-growth candidate, Fred Fraize. Mr. Fraize is not a Republican but because of corrupt Sarasota REC leadership, Joe Gruters, Christian Ziegler, Eric Robinson and Jack Brill endorsed Mrs. Anderson’s opponent in her re-election bid. Turns out what they did was illegal, against their own rules. All Gruters and company responded was opps, my bad. But the damage was done to Mrs. Anderson. She lost her re-election efforts. Jack Brill has a history of favoring individuals who help prevent Good Governance Republicans from winning election and re-election, or even running fair campaigns. The Republican Party of Florida should hold its head in shame for allowing this group from Sarasota – exemplified by Joe Gruters’ corrupt leadership – to represent the party statewide. There were good and decent individuals who were running for these positions within the Republican Party in Sarasota County leadership in December and because of this shuck and jive by Gruters – running for president, Brill running for vice, then Gruters jumping out of the position after he won, and handing it over to Brill, all a way of preventing the “brand” from being diluted. The brand being, of course, rabid pro-growth Republicans. The stink is on anyone involved in this anti-strong woman group. For shame, Mr. Gruters.

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