After four years as chair of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee, Jay Beyrouti says he will step aside in December when his current term ends. Beyrouti announced his decision at Monday’s meeting of the PCREC.
Beyrouti says his decision has absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of last Tuesday’s election, rather it is about him fulfilling his promise to only serve through 2012. “It’s time for new leaders to step up,” Beyrouti said in an interview.
Although last Tuesday was not particularly kind to Pinellas Republicans, with incumbents Nancy Bostock, Neil Brickfield and Peter Nehr all unseated, Republicans still control all of Pinellas’ constitutional offices, including Sheriff, as well as a majority of the County Commission, two of the three Congressional seats, both State Senate seats and a majority of the House seats. This despite Pinellas having more registered Democrats than Republicans.
Beyrouti oversaw a period of prolific fundraising for the local party. He is also credited with keeping the party unified despite the competing visions of the moderate Republicans in elected office and the Tea Party activists.
“No one could have done the job JJ did keeping the party together,” said Nick DiCeglie, a prominent fundraiser and Republican activist.
The frontrunner to replace Beyrouti is current vice chair Michael Guju, while DiCeglie is expected to win the race to fill in for Guju.