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Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz added to RPOF’s Sunshine Summit

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Republican Party of Florida is racking up still more presidential contenders as guests at its Sunshine Summit next month, scoring U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. 

The party made the announcement in a Friday morning news release.

The addition of Cruz and Fiorina “is further proof that this is the most significant event in Florida politics this fall,” RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia said.

“We look forward to them firing up the grassroots as we build the momentum to deliver our 29 electoral votes to the Republican nominee in 2016,” he said.

The two candidates join an ever-growing list of colleagues:

  • Gov. John Kasich of Ohio;
  • Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania;
  • former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush;
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; 
  • U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina;
  • former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas,;
  • Gov.Bobby Jindal of Louisiana;
  • U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida;
  • U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and real estate businessman;
  • and reality TV show star Donald Trump.  

Still not on the list is retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, polling in second place behind Trump this week, according to national polling averages.

Stand by, RPOF spokesman Wadi Gaitan said: “We plan on announcing more speakers next week.”

The event takes place at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, Nov. 12-14.

The RPOF took some hits when it floated the idea of not allowing GOP candidates into the March primary if they didn’t attend the summit.

Now, candidates can pay a $25,000 filing fee, file a petition with signatures of 3,375 registered Republicans – or they can still attend the summit.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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