Florida GOP Chair Leslie Dougher talks the party’s future on Florida NewsMakers

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Leslie Dougher, newly elected leader of the Republican Party of Florida, believes “good solid” majorities in every race, right down to the local level, are essential to bringing the state GOP — which currently controls the governor’s mansion, Cabinet and much of the Legislature — “to the next level.”

The former Clay County GOP chair shared her ideas on the future of the Party during an appearance on the weekly “Florida NewsMakers” program produced by public affairs firm Sachs Media Group.

“As chairman of the Republican party, it’s my job to look at all the grassroots as well,” Dougher told host Ron Sachs. “So we look at every county, because it starts there … city, county, commission elections.”

After just three months on the job, Dougher is hard at work to ensure her party retains control of the Governor’s Office, all three Cabinet seats and both houses of the Legislature, as well as lay a framework for the upcoming 2016 presidential elections, where Florida is sure to play a substantial role.

As for the Florida GOP’s fundraising prowess, Dougher credits that to voters “identifying” with Republicans.

“We are out there making sure that businesses thrive,” she said, adding that Republicans “make sure that citizens in Florida have a better place to live.”

Dougher also subscribes to the national Republican strategy of hammering Democrats on “everything Obama,” calling it “very effective,” especially in the case of likely Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist.

“Charlie hugs Obama,” she said, referring to Crist’s infamous February 2009 “hug” with the president. “Charlie likes everything that Obama stands for … loves Obamacare … loves everything that Obama stands for.”

When asked about how both state parties are now chaired by women, Dougher responded that it reflects an increasing significance women have in the state economy, starting at the household level, where women make “nearly 80 percent” of spending decisions.

“Their voice is becoming more and more heard,” she said. “They are making inroads in political positions … becoming more visible.”

“Florida NewsMakers” is now available on YouTube.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.