Republican Party of Florida
|Republican Party of Florida|
|Party Chairman||Jim Greer|
|Senate Leader||Senate President Jeffrey Atwater|
|House Leader||Speaker of the House Larry Cretul|
|Headquarters||420 E. Jefferson Street|
Tallahassee, FL 32301
|National affiliation||Republican Party|
Florida politics was largely dominated by the Democrats until Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy, which took advantage of white objections to the advances of the American Civil Rights Movement resulted in a regional political realignment for the south. After Nixon's victory in 1968, the state only voted Democratic in presidential elections in 1976 (Jimmy Carter) 1996 (Bill Clinton) and 2008 (Barack Obama). The presidential election in 2000 was decided by a margin of 537 votes out of approximately 6 million cast, giving George W. Bush the presidency over Al Gore.
The Florida Senate was dominated by Democrats until 1992, when a majority of Republicans was elected. The Florida House of Representatives turned Republican after the November 1996 election. Since then, the number of Democrats in both chambers have continued to drop. The Florida Legislature became the first legislature in any of the states of the former confederacy to come under complete Republican control when the Republicans gained control of the House and Senate in the 1996 election. However, in the 2006 election the Democrats actually gained seats in the State House, the first instance of this occurring since the early 1980s.
The most Republican region of the state is the northern third, which contains the large cities of Pensacola and Jacksonville. The Tampa Bay region is relatively Democratic, although it has become much more competitive in recent electoral cycles. Leon County, which contains the state capitol of Tallahassee, is a strong Democratic area. North Florida and the panhandle are also very Democratic on the local level, although those two regions are solid Republican strongholds in presidential elections.
Current structure and composition
In the 2006 election, the Republican nominee for Governor was Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist from St.Petersburg. He handily defeated the democratic nominee U.S. Representative Jim Davis from Tampa .
The current chairman of the Republican Party of Florida is Jim Greer.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) is responsible for promoting Republican campaign activities. It is responsible for developing and promoting the Republican political platform, as well as coordinating fundraising and election strategy. Senator Mel Martinez of Florida is the Republican Party's former General Chairman. Michael S. Steele is the current Chairman of RNC. The chairman of the RNC is chosen by the President when the Republicans have the White House or otherwise by the Party's state committees. The RNC, under the direction of the party's presidential candidate, supervises the Republican National Convention, raises funds, and coordinates campaign strategy. On the local level there are similar state committees in every state and most large cities, counties and legislative districts, but they have far less money and influence than the national body.
The Republican House and Senate caucuses have separate fund raising and strategy committees. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) assists in House races, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) in Senate races. They each raise over $100 million per election cycle, and play important roles in recruiting strong state candidates. The Republican Governors Association (RGA) is a discussion group that seldom funds state races.
The Republican Party is strong on defense and the more socially conservative and economically libertarian of the two major parties in the state of Florida. The party generally supports lower taxes and limited government in some economic areas, although it does support government intervention in other areas.
Most Republicans favor free-market policies supporting business, economic liberalism, and limited regulation as the best means of fostering economic prosperity. As such, most Republicans tend to ascribe to Reaganomics, an economic theory that was popularized by Ronald Reagan which holds that reduced income tax rates increase GDP growth and thereby generate more revenue for the government from the taxes on the extra growth. "A rising tide raises all boats". Opposition to the increases in the minimum wage stems from counterproduction on the economy- minimum wage increases unemployment and discourages business.
While most Republicans believe that the private sector is more effective in helping the poor than government, they nonetheless generally agree that there should be a "safety net" to assist the less fortunate. Rather than involve the government in the distribution of aid, however, many Republicans support giving government grants to faith-based and other private charitable organizations to supplant welfare spending. Additionally, most Republicans believe that limits on eligibility and benefits must be in place to ensure the safety net is not abused.
Members of the Republican party are generally opposed to a single-payer universal health care system, such as that found in Canada or in most of Europe, sometimes referring to it as "socialized medicine" and are in favor of the current personal or employer based system of insurance, supplemented by Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid, which covers approximately 40% of the poor.
Republicans are generally opposed by labor unions and have supported various legislation on the state and federal levels, including right to work legislation and the Taft-Hartley Act which gives workers the right not to participate in unions, as opposed to a closed shop which prohibits workers from choosing not to join unions in workplaces.
Most of the GOP's national and state candidates oppose abortion on religious or moral grounds, oppose the legalization of same sex marriage, and favor faith-based initiatives. Most of the GOP's membership favors capital punishment and stricter punishments as a means to prevent crime. Republicans generally strongly support constitutionally protected gun ownership rights.
Most Republicans support school choice through charter schools and education vouchers for private schools; and many have denounced the performance of the public school system and the teachers' unions. The party has insisted on a system of greater accountability for public schools, most prominently in recent years with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
The social conservatives of the party tend to support voluntary organized prayer in public schools and the inclusion of teaching creationism or intelligent design alongside evolution. Although the GOP has voted for increases in government funding of scientific research, many members actively oppose the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research because it involves the harvesting and destruction of human embryos (which many consider ethically equivalent to abortion), while supporting for applying research money into adult stem cell or amniotic stem cell research.
The party issued a September 2009 press release about Obama’s planned TV presentation to schoolchildren: “Schoolchildren across the nation will be forced to watch the president justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other president." Politifact said, “There remains no evidence that Obama intends to discuss the controversial policy issues of health care, banking, the automotive industry, taxes or the national debt during his address to students.“ 
In an October 2008 mailing, the party alleged “"Barack Obama has consistently voted against tougher penalties for criminals." Politifact found that the party had taken selective votes or positions to prop up sensational headlines that are belied by a fuller examination of Obama's record, and found the ad’s claim false. 
In May 2008, the party claimed in an email that Cuban leader Fidel Castro endorsed Obama. Politifact found that to be false, and added it “…comes off less like a joke and more like an intentional smear.”
- Florida Chamber of Commerce
- Florida Retail Federation
- Florida Home Builders Association
- Florida United Businesses Association
- Associated Industries of Florida
Symbols and name
The mascot symbol, historically, is the elephant. A political cartoon by Thomas Nast, published in Harper's Weekly on November 7, 1874, is considered the first important use of the symbol. In the early 20th century, the usual symbol of the Republican Party in Midwestern states such as Indiana and Ohio was the eagle, as opposed to the Democratic rooster. This symbol still appears on Indiana ballots.
After the 2000 election, the color red became associated with the GOP although it has not been officially adopted by the party. On election night 2000, for the first time ever, all major broadcast networks utilized the same color scheme for the electoral map: red states for George W. Bush (Republican nominee) and blue states for Al Gore (Democratic nominee). Although the color red is unofficial and informal, it is widely recognized by the media and the public to represent the GOP. Partisan supporters now often use the color red for promotional materials and campaign merchandise.
Lincoln Day, Reagan Day, or Lincoln-Reagan Day, is the primary annual fundraising celebration held by many state and county organizations of the Republican Party. The events are named after Republican Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.
Current Federal Republican Officeholders
United States Senate
|George LeMieux, Junior Member of the United States Senate from the state of Florida.|
United States House of Representatives
Former Florida Governors and U.S. Senators
|Former Governors of Florida|
United States Senators
|Former U.S. Senators from Florida|
|Connie Mack III|
|This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (July 2009)|
- ↑ Republican Party of Florida - Overview & History
- ↑ Unsettling Scores: A Ranking of State Medicaid Programs, P. 15
- ↑ http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/sep/02/republican-party-florida/republican-party-florida-says-obama-will-indoctrin/ Politfact, 2 Sept 200-
- ↑ http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2008/oct/27/republican-party-florida/felony-cherry-picking/ Politifact, 27 Oct 2008
- ↑ http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2008/jun/05/republican-party-florida/castro-not-stumping-for-obama/ Politifact, 5 June 2008
- ↑ Cartoon of the Day: "The Third-Term Panic". Retrieved on 2007-02-21.