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Blaise Ingoglia to Pinellas GOP: Republican message still best, just needs new shoes

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When it comes to technological campaigning, the Republican Party’s been behind the curve.

Blaise Ingoglia, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, knows this. And he’s trying to fix it.

“Like it or not, Barak Obama has changed the game when it comes to politics,” said Ingoglia last week to a standing-room-only crowd at the Feather Sound Country Club, in Clearwater.

“Now, because of technology, campaigns are more fluid.”

The game change Ingoglia was referring to was President Obama’s heavy online presence during both the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaign trails. And Ingoglia wasn’t shy about letting his fellow Republicans know how important this type of campaigning is now and will be in 2016.

“Because of technology, every election changes,” said Ingoglia. “It’s our job to identify what is going to be the next big thing.”

The 44-year-old Hernando County House member was on hand to address the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee. The Sunshine Summit is in mid-November — a two-day event that brings Republican presidential candidates, along with Florida’s state and federal elected officials, together to address voters, grassroots leaders, community volunteers, and GOP supporters. Virtually every major Republican presidential candidate will be there.

Also, as SaintPetersBlong’s head-honcho Peter Schorsch pointed out, Ingoglia’s job as RPOF chairman involves keeping/making the Florida GOP a relevant part of the 2016 election cycle [and] helping win elections.

“From election cycle to election cycle, we need to keep up with the technology,” urged Ingoglia before predicting that Instagram and Snapchat would be the next big things in social media political campaigning.

Ingoglia also made it very clear that reverting back to past campaign successes is no longer an effective method of reaching out to voters.

“The only way we can move forward as an organization,” said Ingoglia, “is to take a long hard look at the things we are doing wrong.

“We’ve effectively been campaigning the same way since Ronald Reagan,” Ingoglia said of the Republican Party. “We raise all this money; we put ads on TV; we put ads on the radio and we stuff your mailboxes. [But] we have not revolutionized the way we campaign, while the Democrats have.”

However, while Ingoglia was straightforward and unapologetic about matching and surpassing the Democrat’s social media and online campaign effectiveness, he made it very clear that, in his eyes, the substance that comprises his party’s message is still the most virtuous.

“We, the Republican Party, have the best message,” concluded Ingoglia. “The best message is: lower taxes, less government, more personal freedom, focus on the family, focus on the small businesses.

“We do not need to change our message. We just need to change the way we deliver that message.”

For more information on the RPOF’s November 12-14 Sunshine Summit, visit sunshinesummit.gop.

Devon Crumpacker is a Tampa Bay based writer and reporter for Extensive Enterprises Media. He primarily covers Pinellas County politics for SaintPetersblog.com, but also makes time to write the occasional bar review for FloridaBarTab.com. He lives in St. Petersburg with his fiance, Sydney. To contact, e-mail devon@floridapolitics.com, or visit his Twitter page @DevonCrumpacker.

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