Could Joe Gruters ascend to chair the Republican National Committee?
Joe Gruters takes an interest in Hillsborough party politics.

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Florida Republicans will decide this weekend whether to elect him as a national committeeman.

It feels like no coincidence.

Months after Donald Trump weighed in on a national committeeman race, Joe Gruters’ name is being bandied about for the Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair position.

News broke this week that sitting RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel may step aside so that Trump, the favorite for the Republican presidential nomination, can pick a party leader.

Shortly afterward, The Washington Post reported Gruters and North Carolina Republican Party Chair Michael Whatley as potential successors. A day later, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Gruters was “in the mix,” and the article was picked up in papers throughout the USA Today network.

Gruters appreciated the mention but clarified that it’s ultimately up to Trump to pick his favorite.

“Whenever you’re even mentioned for something like that, it’s pretty spectacular,” Gruters said, “but at the end of the day, the President’s continuing to build his team so we can win in November, and I support wherever he goes.”

Gruters serves as a state Senator in Senate District 22, but last year wrapped a four-year stint as state Chair of the Republican Party of Florida. He recently stepped down from that role, but only after making an ultimately unsuccessful run for RNC Treasurer.

After the term as Chair ended, it marked the first time in decades that Gruters didn’t hold a role within the party. He served for years as the Republican Party of Sarasota County Chair and served as state Vice Chair before taking the top job in 2019.

A power shake-up at the party earlier this year led Evan Power to abandon a run for national committeeman after being elected the new state Chair. Gruters quickly announced a run and, after securing Trump’s endorsement, appears a heavy favorite for the job when the state committee holds its quarterly meeting in Wesley Chapel on Saturday.

From there, McDaniel’s move will clarify what happens next. Outlets including The Associated Press report she has offered to Trump to step down, but likely won’t take such a step until after the South Carolina Presidential Primary on Feb. 24 at the earliest.

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].


4 comments

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 10, 2024 at 10:27 am

    Could Joe Gruters ascend to chair the Republican National Committee?

    Is “ascend” the right word for taking a job nobody wants?

    Reply

    • Fernando M Martinez

      February 12, 2024 at 11:08 am

      I would take that job, these committee seats are wasted on duds who do nothing to move forward the MAGA agenda to reform the country free it from the globalists. A National Committee seat is a powerful position to be in and a great bully pulpit to get the local committees to get more done. The need is great for true leadership that addresses the needs and complaints of the grassroots.

      Reply

      • Dont Say FLA

        February 12, 2024 at 11:30 am

        If you’re willing to take the job as RNC Chair, you can probably have it. It’s just another head that might roll next time Trumpy needs a new face to blame for his infinite losing streak.

        Like seriously, name one person that served in the Trump administration that Trump hasn’t turned against. Well okay yeah Stephen Miller but is that guy really a person. Name somebody else. You can’t. Not even his own VP.

        Trumpy turns against everybody. How can people still think Trump is on their side? He says he is on your side, and maybe he acts like it, right up till he isn’t, and that’s whenever it’s convenient for him, usually the very minute he’s done with you.

        Reply

  • PeterH

    February 12, 2024 at 1:44 pm

    No one cares who administers pain medication to whining Republicans who deliberately ignore the will of the voters!

    Reply

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