Local Republicans will pick a new Hillsborough County party chairman tonight, hoping to rejuvenate a party known as one of the state’s largest and most active, but which is still plagued by divisiveness.
Senator Tom Lee appears to be the favorite to win the post, especially after the endorsement he’s unveiling today, just hours before members of the Hillsborough GOP vote. Lee announced the support of US Senator Marco Rubio. Here is the text of Rubio’s endorsement:
“Early in my race when many in the Republican establishment questioned why I would run for the U.S Senate, Tom Lee stood with me. He was one of my earliest supporters and I know he will lead our party in Hillsborough County based on our shared conservative principles.As former legislative colleague, I have seen how tenacious and focused Tom can be when he sees change that needs to occur. It is a quality that will serve him well as Chairman of the Hillsborough County’s Republican Party.Tom’s opponent Chris Hart is someone I respect a great deal for his service to the Tampa area. The Hillsborough GOP is fortunate to have a leader of his quality willing to stand for Chair.Hillsborough is Florida’s bellwether county. Republicans must improve our efforts to reach out to all its citizens with our message of rebuilding a strong economy and prosperous and growing middle class. Tom Lee is the best leader to lead that effort and I am proud to stand by him with my support.”