Sarasota GOP to name Mike Pompeo as Statesman of the Year
Donald Trump tells Mike Pompeo to zip it about China.

MRP Waving
The honor went to Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump in prior years.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been picked as the Republican Party of Sarasota County’s Statesman of the Year. The honor, and the profile in donor-rich Sarasota, has helped to elevate national figures with presidential aspirations.

Pompeo, a former CIA director and Secretary of State under President Donald Trump, will speak at a dinner in Sarasota March 24 and accept the award.

“Secretary Pompeo served during the entire Trump administration and led the enactment of some of the President’s most successful foreign policy accomplishments,” said Jack Brill, Acting Chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota County. “He is an ideal fit in the pantheon of 10 years of Statesman awards.”

A press release focused on shifts in foreign policy made during Pompeo’s time at Foggy Bottom. In particular, it spotlighted involvement in negotiating the Abraham Accords between Bahrain, Israel and the United Arab Emirates and with changing U.S. posture on China.

“Pompeo’s time at the State Department ended Barack Obama’s naïve engagement with the Chinese Communist Party, revealing the egregious acts of the CCP that threaten American jobs and freedoms, and created stability in some of the world’s toughest neighborhoods,” the release said.

While Statesman of the Year is an honor bestowed by a local party, it remains a coveted opportunity to reach Florida conservatives. The honor has twice gone to Trump. He first earned the award in 2012 and accepted it shortly before the Republican National Convention in Tampa. That helped to elevate his brand from developer and reality show host to political leader.

Most recently, the award went to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who used the platform to criticize Democratic President Joe Biden and school boards while promoting an agenda including new election integrity measures.

Prior recipients include South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.

“For a community the size of Sarasota, this 10-year list of Statesman Award winners is uniquely impressive and shows the critical importance of Sarasota to Florida and national Republicans,” Brill said. “We are honored to be able to add Secretary Pompeo to the list of winners.”

Details and ticket purchasing are available through an Eventbrite page.

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].


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