Sarasota Republicans to welcome Mike Pompeo to town
Mike Pompeo gets special recognition in Sarasota.

MRP Waving
He's accepting the Statesman of the Year award.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will appear in Sarasota Thursday night to accept the local GOP’s Statesman of the Year award.

With a war in Europe, tensions in Asia and interest in global affairs high, Republicans in Sarasota expect an insightful event.

“He was peacekeeper of the U.S. and the world for four years,” said Jack Brill, acting chair of the Republican Party of Sarasota. “I’m curious about his comments on (Vladimir) Putin and everything. With what’s going on in the world, the only place you want to be is in Sarasota.”

Pompeo led the State Department at the end of former President Donald Trump’s term, and before that served as Trump’s CIA Director.

“He did a great job,” Brill said. “We had no wars during his four years and we actually were getting out of Afghanistan on our terms.”

Sen. Rick Scott will also attend the dinner, which starts at 5:30 p.m. at Nathan Benderson Park in University Park. More than 600 guests, who paid $100 to $300 a plate for individual tickets, are expected to attend.

Of note, both men appear to hold aspirations of running for President in the future, and have made conspicuous visits to Iowa (though Scott said he doesn’t plan to run in 2024).

The Statesman of the Year Dinner has become a bit of a must-stop for national figures with White House aspirations. Gov. Ron DeSantis accepted the honor last year at a dinner in October. Trump won the honor twice, the only person to date to do so. Scott has also been a recipient of the award.

“In the past, Sarasota has been a stopping point or place to speak for aspiring presidential candidates,” Brill noted.

Pompeo swings through town weeks after his PAC issued an endorsement of Rep. Bill Posey, another sign he’s looking to build a political apparatus with a strong presence in Florida.

But as a former Secretary of State, Pompeo’s voice has boomed around the world. He has also done recent national media interviews on China’s threatening posture toward Taiwan and about Putin’s long-term plans following an invasion of Ukraine. He’s also been highly critical of foreign policy decisions by President Joe Biden.

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

  • Richers

    March 25, 2022 at 1:37 pm

    “The only place you want to be is Sarasota”

    “Looks up place in question.”

    Sarasota looks like it has more crime then any other place in the state

    The rich kind lol

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