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Federation of Republican Women: We support the nominee

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As big time Republican leaders prop up their egos and influence by supporting this presidential candidate or that presidential candidate and threatening not to support another, a significant grassroots GOP organization, which does the heavy campaign lifting right down to the grassroots, says it will support whoever the nominee is.

The board of the National Federation of Republican Women unanimously approved a resolution that chapters, officers and rank-and-file members will support the party’s nominee. That means Donald Trump, Ted Cruz or whoever is chosen.

“The thing is we have women in the federation who privately support Trump, Cruz or Kasich, but when the decision is made the Federation will support the party’s nomination,” said Dena DeCamp, president of the Florida Federation of Republican Women and a member of the national board of directors.

The federation and its chapters have many of the heavy lifters who work largely unseen and unselfishly for the party while the candidates and contributors primarily make showy speeches or big contributions.

The National Federation of Republican Women was founded in 1938 and currently has 1,400 chapters in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, said Lisa Ziriax, Federation communications director in Washington.

“We let the process play out in the presidential primaries and once the process is finished, the Federation supports the party’s nominee with its work,” she said.

That has been a Federation rule since its founding, Ziriax said, adding that this “unusual campaign season” necessitated another vote from the board.

“More than anything, our board of directors voted on a resolution that it would support whoever is the party’s nominee to re-emphasize that rule to our chapters and members,” she said.

The federation contains many female leaders in the party and many volunteers.

“We are a bottom-up Republican organization, which involves a lot of grassroots work,” Ziriax said.

Much of that grassroots work can be seen in Florida, especially when the federation’s campaign bus begins its travels around the state, DeCamp said.

“The board has approved the outfitting of a large bus with the slogan, ‘You have a reservation at our table,’ that will travel to the 11 battle states in the fall, “she said. “And, of course, Florida is one of the battle states.”

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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