Joe Gruters says he will not run for Florida GOP chair

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Sarasota GOP chief Joe Gruters will not attempt to succeed Lenny Curry as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

“While I intend to run for a full-term as RPOF chairman in January of 2015, I will not be running in May,” Gruters told me today.

Curry, who is expected to run for Jacksonville mayor,  is stepping down as chairman of the Florida Republican Party, according to party officials with knowledge of the situation.

Curry will stay on as chair through the end of May, when an election to replace him will be held at RPOF’s Quarterly Meeting.

Gruters had been considered a frontrunner to replace Curry, along with Clay County’s Leslie Dougher and Hernando County’s Blaise Ignoglia. Dougher is chair of the chairman’s caucus. Ignoglia is a candidate for House District 35.

One member of the state committee tells me that Governor Scott’s preference is Dougher.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.