A year after honoring Donald Trump, Sarasota GOP to honor Sean Hannity

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No one expected Joe Gruters and the Sarasota GOP to trump having ‘The Donald’ speak to the organization, as it did eight months ago.

Recognizing that, Gruters — leading perhaps the best organized county party in the state — is following up Donald Trump’s appearance last year by inviting prominent conservative talk show host Sean Hannity to headline the Sarasota Republican Party’s Annual Statesman Dinner.

Jeremy Wallace reports that Gruters contacted Hannity because it wanted to give him its annual Statesman Award, which was given to Trump and Barbour over the last two years. Hannity has agreed and is tentatively scheduled to speak in June.

“Our annual Statesman Award is becoming a national award,” Gruters said.

Gruters said it is easier to bring in prominent Republicans and conservatives when they know they’ll be in the same league as Trump, Barbour, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum. All have spoken in Sarasota over the last two years at events Gruters organized.

Gruters says national GOP players know they will get big crowds when they speak in Sarasota.

“We are building a national reputation,” Gruters said.

Yes, you are Mr. Gruters. Yes, you are.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.