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Dena DeCamp elected Florida Republican Women president

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

She was first vice president of the state federation, President of the Republican Women’s Club of Lakeland and is a former vice chair of the Polk County Republican Executive Committee.

Former state Rep. Deborah Tamargo, who chairs of the Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee, was elected first vice president of the Florida federation.

During the early formation of the Tea Party groups in Central Florida, DeCamp, known for her organizational skills, provided advice and planning for the groups’ rallies by lining up speakers, setting programs and introducing many of the newcomer leadership of the group to key Republicans.

DeCamp, 59, is owner of Embroidery Place, a custom embroidery business, and holds degrees in business from Polk State College and Florida Southern College Lakeland. And business is what got her into the political realm, she said.

“I have always been interested in politics and have been a life-long Republican. I was in business and I didn’t want to join a social club, so I joined the Republican Women,” she said.

Any member from local chapters up through the state and national chapters will immediately correct those who may think it is a social club.

The National Federation of Republican Women’s motto is “Politics is Women’s Work.”

Federation women are grass roots organizers knocking on doors for candidates, DeCamp said.

“On off election years we make phone calls and keep in touch (with voters),” she said. Most important we encourage Republican women to run for office and get out the vote.”

Polk County, as an example, she said, has a female state senator, state house member, property appraiser and clerk of court.

Among policy issues discussed at the convention is a proposed partnership with the Republican Party of Florida.

“We are a separate group from (the state party), but if we are in partnership we will be able to access important voter information, statistics and planning from it and from the Republican National Committee,” DeCamp said. “We can be more efficient with direct access to information that allows us to move on our grassroots campaign.”

Former Ledger of Lakeland columnist Bill Rufty is Central Florida political correspondent for SaintPetersBlog and Florida Politics. Rufty had been with the Ledger from 1985-2015, where, as political editor, he covered a wide range of beats, including local and state politics, the Lakeland City Commission, and the Florida Legislature. Ledger editor Lenore Devore said about Rufty’s 30-year career: “[He is] a man full of knowledge, a polling expert and a war history buff … who has a steel trap in his brain, remembering details most of us have long since forgotten.”

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