Evan Power endorses Kevin Marino Cabrera for Florida GOP Vice Chair
Kevin Marino Cabrera dominates the money race.

‘He will make an excellent long-term partner for helping me build the RPOF into a model for the nation.’

Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) Chair Evan Power knows who he wants as the organization’s second-most powerful Executive Committee member: Miami-Dade Commissioner Kevin Marino Cabrera.

Power is endorsing Cabrera for RPOF Vice Chair. So are a plethora of other Executive Committee members from across the state.

“Kevin Marino Cabrera is a veteran of Florida politics who I have had the pleasure to work with over the years,” Power said in a statement. “I know he will make an excellent long-term partner for helping me build the RPOF into a model for the nation.”

Others adding their support to Cabrera’s campaign Monday include county GOP Committee Chairs Mike Kumbalek of Charlotte, state Rep. Dean Black of Duvall, state Rep. Alex Rizo of Miami-Dade, Rhonda Rebman-Lopez of Monroe, Chris Kirland of Nassau, Sandra Atkinson of Okaloosa, Erin Huntley of Orange, James Mallo of Pasco, Adam Ross of Pinellas, Kenny Nail of St. Lucie and Mike Watkins of Wakulla.

They join two dozen other GOP Committee members from across Florida and party bigwigs like U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, CFO Jimmy Patronis, Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson, House Speaker-designate Daniel Perez and state Sen. Joe Gruters — a former Florida GOP Chair — backing the bid Cabrera launched Jan. 8.

Cabrera said he is “deeply grateful” for Power’s endorsement and the “collective support of so many members” of the RPOF Executive Committee.

“Our fight to maintain Florida’s conservative values is more critical than ever, necessitating a proven leadership team that knows how to win,” he said in a statement. “These endorsements are a clear indication of trust and, more importantly, signify our shared dedication to the conservative principles we hold dear and the hard work ahead of us.”

Cabrera announced his candidacy for RPOF Vice Chair shortly after the Executive Committee booted Christian Ziegler as Chair and elected Power, then Vice Chair, to replace him.

Ziegler’s ouster came amid a sex scandal that also included his wife, Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler, and an unnamed woman who filed charges of rape against him.

Cabrera joined the Executive Committee by election in November, one year after winning his seat on the Miami-Dade Commission. Before that, he worked as a lobbyist and political operative whose employers included former Gov. Jeb Bush, ex-U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Florida Supreme Court Justice John Couriel, the LIBRE Initiative and Mercury.

In 2020, Cabrera was the Florida State Director for the Republican National Committee and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Trump later endorsed Cabrera — twice — for the Miami-Dade Commission.

Rumor has it Trump is also likely to throw his support behind Cabrera’s current Vice Chair bid.

Lee County GOP Chair Michael Thompson is also running.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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