Florida GOP Chairman, Crist Ally, Fighting Calls For Resignation

ZUMA Press/Newscom

The Florida Republican Party is facing serious internal divisions over the Senate primary between moderate Gov. Charlie Crist and the more conservative former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, with state party chairman and Crist ally Jim Greer denouncing calls from the right for his resignation.

“The governor has told me I’m not to consider resigning,'” Greer told the St. Petersburg Times. Greer denounced his critics: “People have a specific political agenda – to destroy me, to destroy the governor, and to destroy the party.” He further slammed them as “non-inclusive purists” who want to remake the GOP as an “anti-Crist party” — which would certainly be an odd thing for the party to be, an institution opposed to its own incumbent governor.Greer’s opponents charge that he has spent too much money, and have circulated a petition that has received dozens of signatures from party executive committee members, calling for his ouster. “A lot of us worked a long time building this party up from nothing,” said Ron Richmond, a former state House Republican leader. “But to see the kind of trouble it’s in right now, is very disheartening.”

Florida GOP press secretary Katie Gordon Betta told TPM: “Chairman Greer intends to serve the remainder of his elected term, and is encouraged by the overwhelming vote of confidence he recently received from the State Executive Board, as well as the support Florida’s Republican Governor, legislative leadership, several congressmen, dozens of state legislators and thousands of Florida’s grassroots leaders and donors.”

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