American Conservative Union Chair Al Cardenas announced on Tuesday that he would be stepping down after three years as the head of the nation’s oldest grassroots conservative organization.
Cardenas, a top Florida GOP strategist and fundraiser with ties to former Governor Jeb Bush, told of his decision in a letter to board members, reports George Rasley of ConservativeHQ.com. He told the board he needed to focus more time and attention on his day job after the recent passing of a law partner.
“I have had to devote the bulk of my energies to a merger with the international law firm of Squire Sanders LLC and looking after my colleagues and clients in the process,” Cardenas wrote. “It is now evident that my new responsibilities at Squire Sanders LLC will require more travel and allow even less time to dedicate to our beloved ACU.”
“I take Al Cardenas at his word about needing to devote more time to his law practice,” one longtime Florida pundit told Seth McLaughlin of the Washington Times. “But a Jeb Bush campaign for President would be seriously hobbled without Al Cardenas in a leadership position, so it is serendipitous that Al is stepping aside now and can advise Jeb without taking any fire from the other potential candidates and ACU’s donors.”
Prior to his tenure at the ACU, Cardenas served as Republican Party of Florida chair during Jeb Bush’s term as Governor.
Cardenas led the RPOF during the Florida recount in the 2000 campaign, which brought George W. Bush to the Oval Office. Under Cardenas’ leadership, the RPOF enjoyed massive growth and election successes, credited by many to his close connection with Jeb Bush.
Serving as interim leader will be Vice Chair Tom Winter, the former editor-in-chief of Human Events, as the Board contemplates a Cardenas’ replacement.