Indian River County Republican Party
Blaise Ingoglia, Chairman of Republican Party of Florida was the guest speaker at the February 20, 2017 meeting of Republican Women of Indian River County. In his presentation Chairman Ingoglia outlined the NEW DIRECTION of RPOF for the next two years
Article provided by your State Committeewoman Elly Manov
Article by Roni Fuster
Blaise Ingoglia, Chairman of The Republican Party of Florida, is not only a charming, engaging, driven and personable guy, but he’s a mover and shaker. And lucky for us, he’s also a fixer!
In his introduction, Elly Manov extolled his past accomplishments as a self-made man and entrepreneur. He started one company after another in order to fix a problem, connect the missing dots between problems, or make a success even more successful. While engaged in the business sector, mainly dealing with the housing industry, Blaise became intimately aware of government waste, excess spending and over-regulation. In 2007, he took his mission “to fix it” on the road and called it: Government Gone Wild. He didn't realize it at the time, but that was the beginning of a successful political career. In 2009 he was elected to the Hernando Country REC. In 2011 he was elected as Vice-Chair of the RPOF. Then in 2014 he ran and won the State Representative Seat for Dist. 35. Simultaneously, he announced running as Chairman of the RPOF and won. In 2016, he was re-elected as Chairman of the RPOF. As Elly points out: “This guy is a WINNER!”
He shared with us the transformation story of The Florida Republican Party. “Before 2004, we were fairly organized. Then going into the 2008 election we became a party of consultants, attorneys and marketers. We stopped being a party of and for the grassroots. There are some legitimate reasons why we lost in 2008. But there is no excuse for loosing in 2012.” According to Blaise, we were operating as a PAC...out there advertising and trying to raise a bunch of money, while consultants were lining their own pockets. All the while, losing touch with grassroots.
When he became RPOF chairman, he identified what was wrong and immediately started fixing. He told committee people they needed to be prepared to work harder than ever before. They had been activists to this point, but now he expected them to become strategists. The focus became grassroots. The mind-set of just getting the top of the ticket elected had to change. It became all about candidates...from the “bottom to the top” getting elected. Strengthening the local parties became a priority. Training began. We started doing what the Democrats have been doing: using the internet, going door to door. He identified that a missing piece of the winning pie was the absentee voter (a low propensity voter). In 2012, one out of every 5 absentee votes never made it to the ballot box. That had to change. “Get Out The Vote” came into play for all of us. He implemented a concept the RPOF had never tried before: the free market system. The fruits of their labors resulted in an additional 58,000 votes in the 2016 election. “We did this. Not a consultant; not a PAC. Because of hard work by grassroots, I believe that Florida saved the nation and the Supreme Court,” he shared, followed by rousing applause.
Certainly, having a dynamic, one-of-a-kind presidential candidate didn’t hurt turning Florida red. “We’re not going to sit on our laurels,” he said. “The game is not over. There will be no victory laps or victory speeches.” Instead, Blaise plans on half-time speeches. To continue the momentum. We have to put ourselves in the best position possible to win next year’s gubernatorial election as well as the 2020 general election. One area that Blaise wants to address is: the Tea Party members. “They were very active and passionate in 2010 and we ignored them. We didn’t try to bring them into the fold. We can’t make that mistake again. President Trump has brought a bunch of people into our midst and now it’s our job to keep them involved in the party.” He suggested that we can no longer sit around and complain. We have the Presidency, the House and the Senate. We need to get to work and show everyday people that our policies, philosophy and ideas, when put into motion, will make lives better. If we don’t, our credibility will be destroyed for generations.
Similar to Project 29 (a rallying cry to deliver the 29 electoral votes to our 2016 nominee), Blaise is rolling out Project Majority Red. Why? There are 300,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in Florida. Our homework assignment is to get them switched. He says it will probably take two election cycles, but nonetheless it must be done. We need to make Florida a majority Republican (RED) state. We will accomplish this through grassroots. Our 67 counties will become third-party voter registration organizations and we will go out and register voters. We will operate as a party, not a PAC.He closed by saying: “Some will say we shocked the world in our 2016 election. It didn’t shock me. That’s why I became your Chairman. We all must stay involved. It’s time to floor the gas pedal.