Citrus County Republicans overwhelmingly back Chairman’s re-election
Mike Moberley gets solid backup for re-election as Chair of the Republican Party in Citrus County.

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'We’re working together toward a common goal.'

Citrus County Republicans turned aside attempts to oust their Chairman in a move designed to bring supporters of former President Donald Trump into party leadership.

Members of the Republican Executive Committee packed the annual meeting Monday night and voted overwhelmingly to keep Mike Moberley as Chairman over Stephen Mecler, an Inverness resident aligned with the “America First” movement.

Citrus County Clerk of Courts Angela Vick was voted in as Vice Chairman over Billy Cayce, president of the Citrus County Republican Club 45.

Moberley, whose involvement with the county party include stints as state committeeman and four prior years as Chairman, said the vote solidifies his belief of an inclusive Republican Party in Citrus County.

“My philosophy is similar to Ronald Reagan — we are under one big tent and it’s OK to have various opinions,” he said. “We’re working together toward a common goal.”

The vote concludes a year of Republican infighting over the County Commission’s handling of complaints about June 2021 Gay Pride Month library displays. Some Republican leaders were harshly critical of the all-Republican Commission, particularly three of the five who refused to change the policy or even acknowledge there was an issue with the library at all.

Moberley said the party’s focus should be voter registration and participation, and encouraging the recruitment of conservative Republican candidates.

It’s not the party’s role to interfere with local government, he said.

“We’re not a policy-making organization,” Moberley said.

Mecler’s approach, as outlined on his Facebook page, was to do just that.

“Everybody will know the rules and we will hold politicians accountable!” he wrote.

Citrus County Republicans showed up in force to vote and most backed Moberley. Turnout of voting members was 87%, he said, and 74% of those voted for his re-election.

“It’s a statement,” Moberley said.

The Vice Chairman’s vote was much closer — Vick defeated Cayce by just six votes.

Moberley, who attended the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, as a Donald Trump delegate and was one of 29 Florida electors for Trump, is widely seen among Citrus County Republicans as someone who encourages party unity.

“We’ve been down this road before,” he said. “Most of my peers are of a similar opinion.”

Mike Wright

Mike Wright is a former reporter with the Citrus County Chronicle, where he had covered county government and politics since 1987. Mike's skills as an investigative reporter earned him first-place awards in investigative writing. Mike also helped the Chronicle win the Frances Devore Award for Public Service in 2002.


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