Joe Gruters follows Donald Trump’s lead, endorses Michael Whatley for RNC Chair
Joe Gruters, Donald Trump, Susie Wiles. Image via Twitter.

Gruters Trump Wiles
The Sarasota state Senator was briefly under consideration for the job.

Joe Gruters, Florida’s Republican national committeeman, is endorsing Michael Whatley as the next leader of the Republican National Committee (RNC).

The news ends a period of brief speculation about whether the Sarasota Republican would be tapped for the job. The state Senator won election this weekend as the state’s national committeeman.

But former President Donald Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, endorsed Whatley, the North Carolina Republican Party Chair. Gruters has now followed suit.

“This is the President’s party and he deserves to have his choice as the next Chairman,” Gruters said. “I support the President 100% and fully endorse Whatley.”

Trump released a plan for reorganizing the RNC after the South Carolina Primary, where he is expected to beat former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

“My friend Michael Whatley should be the RNC’s next leader,” Trump announced. “Michael has been with me from the beginning, has done a great job in his home state of North Carolina, and is committed to election integrity, which we must have to keep fraud out of our election so it can’t be stolen.”

Of note, Gruters has also been a longtime ally to Trump, co-chairing the Florida arm of his 2016 presidential campaign. He also headed election integrity efforts for the RNC leading into the 2022 Midterms, back when he served as Chair of the Republican Party of Florida.

But North Carolina at this point remains a more clear battleground in presidential races than Florida, a possible factor in Trump’s endorsement.

The former President also proposed having Lara Trump, his daughter-in-law and a frequent campaign surrogate, serve as Co-Chair with Whatley, and for Chris LaCivita, a political consultant close to Trump, to serve as the RNC’s chief operating officer.

Of course, all of this is contingent on the current leadership of the RNC stepping aside. Multiple outlets reported earlier this month current RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel has discussed the possibility with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate, but does not want to make a move until after the South Carolina Primary on Feb. 24.

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

  • rick whitaker

    February 13, 2024 at 1:14 pm

    gruters said, ” i support the president 100% “. isn’t that the same thing the ss said in germany?

Comments are closed.


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