Sarasota GOP to honor Ron DeSantis as Statesman of the Year
2022 will be Ron DeSantis' Session.

Ron DeSantis
The honor has gone to national figures like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham.

The Republican Party of Sarasota will honor Gov. Ron DeSantis as its Statesman of the Year. DeSantis will receive the honor at a special event on Oct. 15 at the Sarasota Hyatt Regency.

“Gov. DeSantis is the most effective and popular Governor in the United States among Republicans and we are thrilled to honor him with this award,” said Jack Brill, acting chair of the Republican Party of Sarasota County.

The award has been a draw for national candidates with presidential ambitions to come to the wealthy coastal Florida community. Donald Trump earned the award twice, including once before the 2016 Republican National Convention in Tampa. U.S. Sen. Rick Scott has also earned the award, as have national figures like South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Fox News host Sean Hannity has also earned the award.

The Statesman of the Year event will include a private reception, VIP reception and dinner. Tickets cost $200 for general admission and $350 for VIP access.

DeSantis’ selection should come as no surprise. The Governor’s national prominence has grown significantly over the course of the pandemic. He’s also known to have ambitions to run for President in 2024. His reelection in 2022 has been a top priority of the Republican Party of Florida, along with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s reelection.

The award is notable considering two years of reported tension between DeSantis and RPOF chair Joe Gruters. The Sarasota Republican holds the formal title of Republican Party of Sarasota chair, though day-to-day affairs at the local party have fallen to Brill since Gruters’ election as state chair In 2019.

Still, Gruters works closely with Brill, and the honor signals a cooperative tone between the Governor’s office and party leadership — at the state and local level.

The event also comes a couple of months after Trump, who has made clear he’s considering another run for President in 2024, held a rally in Sarasota. The Governor was expected to attend but could not because of the disaster in Surfside.

The gathering also serves as one of the most important fundraisers for the Sarasota party each year, and the choice of DeSantis can easily be read as an indicator of the Governor’s popularity among the party base and the wealthy donor class living in the state.

And if nothing else, the inclusion of DeSantis indicates the party holds him in the echelon of ambitious figures who become household names nationwide, and who hold the potential to become White House occupants.

“For a mid-size community such as Sarasota, this list of Statesman Award winners is impressive and shows the importance of Sarasota to Florida and on the national stage,” Brill said. “We feel very honored to be able to add Gov. DeSantis to the list of winners.”

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]


12 comments

  • Tjb

    August 5, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    What about honoring Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

  • Charles

    August 5, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    DeSantis has done an excellent job in Florida.
    Looking for a comparison:
    Cuomo from New York who was being touted as the next democratic Presidential contender is about to be impeached
    —————- CASE MADE DeSantis. ——————

    • Tjb

      August 5, 2021 at 3:58 pm

      We all know that Cuomo is a dirt bag. The comparison or question to be asked —— who iis the bigger piece of crap?

      • Tom

        August 5, 2021 at 11:34 pm

        Tjb, you are disgusting.
        You accused of DeSantis in lewd manner last week and I called you out last week. The hate has overwhelmed all of you.

      • Tom

        August 5, 2021 at 11:40 pm

        This POTUS considered him his first choice as Attorney General. Can’t make it up. That’s the Dems.

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 5, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    Might as well give it the pedophile wantabee Gaetz!!! Duffus Desantis is willingly slaughtering Floridians! Now as a statesman Duffus Desantis is willingly placing our children in harms way!

    • Tom

      August 5, 2021 at 11:36 pm

      Please increase meds 3 x more a day.
      Really getting worse.

    • Marissa

      August 16, 2021 at 9:16 am

      He’s a great governor!
      Turn the news off, it won’t let you see the truth.

  • PeterH

    August 5, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    If DeSantis is the best in the GQP field ….. I guess that’s the best Republicans can say about today’s Florida incompetent leadership.

    Real conservatives should investigate several of the ‘never Trump’ organizations! The Lincoln Project is one of several.

    • Tom

      August 5, 2021 at 11:44 pm

      America’s Great Governor to you Llc Lincoln project sympathizer!

  • Brad H

    August 6, 2021 at 8:40 am

    The “Statesman of the year” honor is worthless. It was given to the lying,incompetent, self -serving, charlatan Blowhard, business failure, tax evading, draft dodging, seditionist, criminal Trump.

    • Tom

      August 6, 2021 at 6:51 pm

      Bard H you loser, you’ve been hiding.
      U Manchurian, yes repeat Trump, Trump and Trump. All of you are Bots.
      Trumps gone, get over it
      Tell Soros you need new talking points.

Comments are closed.


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