RPOF Newsletters

RPOF Newsletter – February 18, 2022

Chairman’s Message

Florida busts through tourism records


Governor DeSantis’ determination to keep Floridians free and Florida open for business continues to pay off for the state and Americans everywhere as more people than ever are flocking to Florida for vacations. They are escaping more than just cold weather. Lockdowns, mask mandates and weariness over the endless authoritarianism in many other states makes Florida a refuge from crushing policies.

The Governor announced that 30.9 million visitors came to Florida between October and December 2021, marking the second consecutive quarter that visitation has surpassed 2019, pre-pandemic levels. That brings the overall totals for 2021 to nearly 118 million domestic visitors to our state — the highest level in state history, as residents of other states flocked to Florida as a haven from lockdown policies.

“In Florida, we put freedom first, and as a result people are choosing to vacation in our state from across the country and the world to escape lockdowns, including the politicians who advocated for those reckless policies and who are often spotted vacationing here,” Governor DeSantis said. “While tourism in other states is only just beginning to recover, Florida is at the front of the pack — now we are surpassing pre-pandemic levels and setting new visitation records. I’m thankful that VISIT FLORIDA continued to market our state throughout the past two years, and I am confident that 2022 will be another great year for Florida’s tourism industry.” 

Here are a few highlights from the report: 

  • Estimates from VISIT FLORIDA show that 29 million domestic visitors traveled to Florida in the fourth quarter of 2021, reflecting a 57 percent increase from the same period in 2020, and a 7 percent increase from pre-pandemic 2019.
  • Approximately 1.5 million overseas visitors came to Florida in the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of 198 percent from 2020, and 43 percent from the third quarter.
  • About 359,000 Canadian travelers visited Florida in the fourth quarter of 2021, nearly three times as many as in the previous quarter.
  • Latin America was the driving force of overseas visitation in 2021, with Colombia becoming the state’s No. 1 international market with a record 710,000 visitors.
  • In addition, Florida’s total hotel revenue reached its highest ever in 2021 at $17.3 billion, a 2 percent increase over 2019. 

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2022/02/15/florida-tourism-continues-to-surpass-pre-pandemic-levels/

For more details on the tourism numbers: https://visitflorida.app.box.com/s/yybwlayqp5ul95851p1vobhwjpsxr2cr

Story here: https://thecapitolist.com/2021-saw-the-highest-rate-of-domestic-tourism-in-state-history/



Tourist-related businesses and organizations praise the Governor

The principled, freedom-driven policies of Governor DeSantis are drawing high praise from businesses and organizations around the state, who realize that those policies set the foundation for VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing successes. 

Richard Gonzmart, fourth generation Co-Owner of Columbia Restaurant Group, said, “Florida’s food and beverage sector heavily depends on visitation to our state, so tourism’s record year in 2021 is a huge win for our industry. We sincerely appreciate everything Governor DeSantis and VISIT FLORIDA have done to generate visitors and support businesses.”

Darien Schaefer, President and CEO of Visit Pensacola, said, “Tourism in Pensacola and beyond is thriving thanks to Governor DeSantis and VISIT FLORIDA’s unwavering commitment to our industry. Their efforts have allowed us to take full advantage of the national pent-up travel demand and introduce millions of new visitors to everything our great state has to offer.” 

Philip McDaniel, CEO of St. Augustine Distillery said, “As one of Florida’s top destinations, St. Augustine runs on tourism, and VISIT FLORIDA has been crucial for boosting our visitation share this past year. We are grateful for Governor DeSantis’ support of Florida’s No. 1 industry and keeping our tourism economy strong.” 

Loretta Shaffer, Director of the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau, said, “Florida tourism’s amazing year further underscores the value of Governor DeSantis’ leadership and VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing, which has helped drive visitation to Florida’s destinations large and small. Marion County was one of Florida’s fastest growing counties for domestic visitation in 2021.”

More about what they’re saying: https://www.flgov.com/2022/02/16/what-they-are-saying-florida-tourism-industry-is-booming/ 

IMPORTANT REMINDER: You have the ability to greatly expand the beliefs and ideas of the Republican Party of Florida by sharing out Facebook and Twitter posts. Please follow and retweet us on Twitter @FloridaGOP, and like and share us on Facebook at FloridaGOP. We can win over others only if we all pitch in to reach them with our message.



Governor DeSantis denounces Biden administration denial of individual assistance for victims of SW Florida tornado

Governor DeSantis announced today that Florida will appeal the federal government’s denial of emergency aid for Southwest Florida after a series of severe storms in the early morning of January 16 generated an EF-1 tornado in Charlotte County and an EF-2 tornado in Lee County.

The victims of the disaster represent a significant elderly population, with 84 percent of the impacted population receiving Social Security Income. On January 24, Florida requested all programs under the Individual Assistance program, including the Individuals and Households program, Disaster Case Management, Crisis Counseling and Training program, Disaster Legal Services and Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

The Florida Department of Emergency Management will appeal the denial due to the amount of destruction and number of displaced residents caused by the tornadoes. FDEM is also helping residents in identifying other forms of disaster assistance that may be available to help them recover.


$91 million for Panhandle communities hit by Hurricane Michael

Governor DeSantis announced more than $91 million to 14 communities across the Panhandle region to strengthen infrastructure, including improvements to wastewater and sanitary sewer, potable water and stormwater systems.


“I’ve said from the beginning that recovery from Hurricane Michael would be a long-term process,” Governor DeSantis said. “Michael has forever left a mark on Panhandle communities, but through the funding provided today, we can ensure these communities are stronger and better equipped for the future.”

“More than three years since Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle, Governor DeSantis continues to make good on his promise to support these communities with vital resources to recover from this historic storm,” Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said. “This additional $91 million in recovery funding will go a very long way in improving the infrastructure needed to support the families and businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael.”

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2022/02/11/governor-ron-desantis-announces-over-91-million-in-funding-to-support-storm-mitigation-and-recovery-for-communities-impacted-by-hurricane-michael/


AG Moody fights to end federal contractor vaccine mandate

Continuing to fight for Floridians, Attorney General Ashley Moody is leading 17 other states in filing an amicus brief in support of the state of Georgia’s multi-state suit against President Joe Biden’s federal contractor vaccine mandate.

The suit seeks an immediate end to the unlawful requirement that federal government contractors require all employees receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Not only are there many Florida companies that will be negatively impacted by the unlawful requirements, but the vaccination requirements intrude on Florida’s laws expressly restricting employer-vaccine mandates.

Attorney General Moody filed a similar action in October 2021 and won a preliminary injunction against the unlawful mandate. The federal government is currently appealing the state of Georgia’s case.

 “While COVID-19 infections are rapidly decreasing, President Biden is showing no signs of relenting in his pursuit of power over the personal medical decisions of Americans,” Attorney General Moody said. “As Florida’s Attorney General, I am fighting to protect Floridians from Biden’s unlawful federal overreach and I am proud to lead a multi-state effort in support of Georgia’s case to stop the unlawful vaccine mandate for federal contractors.”

Read more: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/newsreleases/FAD4A0728E0899E8852587EB00594996

Demings continues embrace of Carville after his violent, hate-filled rant

Fox News reports:

Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., has been touting the endorsement of veteran Democratic strategist James Carville as she seeks the Democratic nomination for the Florida Senate race but is keeping quiet about his recent comments about punching “piece of sh–” unvaccinated people in the face.

Demings’ campaign has sent out fundraising emails to supporters from Carville in which he tells backers that she can “ONLY win if activists like YOU dig deep and support her every step of the way.”

“I’m neck and neck with Marco Rubio in the race that will determine Senate control, and CNN contributors like James Carville have ‘zero doubt’ that I CAN win,” she says.

Separately, Demings is scheduled to appear at a “virtual grassroots rally” next week with Carville. Carville led President Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential bid and infamously said, “If you drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find” as an attack against one of Clinton’s accusers. 

Despite sticking close to Carville, Demings’ campaign has remained silent on controversial remarks he made during a recent podcast about punching unvaccinated people in the face.

“I wish what they’d do is pass a law to make you immune from liability if you punch some unvaccinated person right in the face, which I’d really like to do,” Carville said. “If you ask me what’s my first reaction to you if you’re not vaccinated, you don’t have any medical reason not to be, you’re a piece of s—, OK? I just want to punch you in the god—-ed face. That’s the way I look at these people.”

Senator Rubio is urging Demings to condemn Carville’s violent, hate-filled rhetoric.

Read more here: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/val-demings-campaign-james-carville-backing-comment


Florida pulling out of federal illegal immigrant minor program

The Florida Department of Children and Families is proposing a rule prohibiting the renewal of licenses for organizations that house Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), mostly older teenagers, whom the federal government is resettling across the United States, including Florida, unless there is a cooperative agreement between the State of Florida and the federal government.

“Through its policies, the federal government has made a decision to encourage the mass smuggling of minors to the southern border without their parents,” DCF Secretary Shevaun Harris said. “No government that claimed to care for children would ever tolerate this. The federal government’s careless policies have led to this unsafe situation, and Florida will no longer be complicit in it. By ending the state’s involvement with the UAC program, the proposed rule will finally force the federal government to take full responsibility for the care and treatment of the UAC population.”

The proposed rule will not affect the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) program because there is a cooperative agreement that governs the resettlement of URM. Additionally, the rule also bars existing licensees from adding to their UAC population, and requires them to conduct regular, in-person welfare checks of any UAC from their current population who are placed with sponsors in Florida.

These unaccompanied teens are often smuggled or trafficked by criminals, sometimes with the knowledge or participation of family members who are already illegally in the country. The Biden Administration’s willful refusal to faithfully enforce the nation’s immigration laws has incentivized this intolerable state of affairs. In President Biden’s first year of office, the number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the southern border ballooned to more than 146,000, compared to approximately 33,000 in fiscal year 2020 and 80,000 in fiscal year 2019. 

Read more: https://www.myflfamilies.com/newsroom/pressreleases/2022/202200210-DCF%20Files%20Proposed%20Rule.shtml

Social Media Highlights

REMEMBER: @FloridaGOP and retweet and share. The Republican message must be spread around the state, and you are integral to making that happen.


RPOF Newsletter – February 6, 2022

Chairman’s Message

Fighting for Florida’s resilient, environmental future


Governor DeSantis went to Pinellas and Miami-Dade counties to announce more than $404 million for 113 environmental projects across the state through the Resilient Florida Grant Program. This money will help prepare coastal and inland communities for the impacts of flooding and storm surge.

“Today’s record investment, as well as the projects included in the statewide plan for future funding, will strengthen our infrastructure to withstand the impacts of flooding and storm surge,” Governor DeSantis said. “For the first time ever, Florida has strategic coordination of statewide efforts to protect our coastal and inland infrastructure, and the dedicated funding to support these projects. This announcement is just the beginning. My administration will continue to support our communities’ resilience efforts across the state.”

The projects awarded this week span 25 counties to improve efforts to protect inland and coastal communities from storm damage. Including the local matches with these projects, the investment for resilience totals more than $730 million.

“Today’s record investment is a testament to our administration’s steadfast commitment to preserving and restoring Florida’s natural treasures,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, a South Floridian.

This is the result of Governor DeSantis’ vision and the support of the Republican Legislature. In his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22, Governor DeSantis recommended the creation of the Resilient Florida Grant Program to help prepare communities for the impacts of sea level rise and flooding. The Legislature answered the call, passing Senate Bill 1954. And the budget included funding to support the most significant investment in the state’s history — over $640 million — to support efforts to ensure state and local communities are prepared to deal with the impacts of sea-level rise, intensified storms and flooding.

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2022/02/01/governor-ron-desantis-announces-award-of-more-than-404-million-for-113-projects-through-the-resilient-florida-grant-program/

The list of projects can be found here: https://protectingfloridatogether.gov/sites/default/files/documents/FY2021-22_Resilience_RFGP_Awards.pdf

 Governor DeSantis and Senator Rubio call on Biden for Everglades funding 

The critically important Everglades restoration is supposed to be a 50/50 partnership between Florida and the federal government, but the federal government has long lagged in coming through with its half of the deal.  

So Governor DeSantis was joined by Senator Rubio, Congressman Brian Mast, Congressman Byron Donalds and other stakeholders to call on the Biden Administration to allocate the federal share of funding to move forward the federal portion of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir project. Additionally, Governor DeSantis requested the Biden Administration include at least $725 million for Everglades restoration in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2023 budget request.

“The EAA Reservoir project is the crown jewel of Everglades restoration, providing relief from harmful discharges to the estuaries and sending more clean water south to the Everglades,” Governor DeSantis said. “Advancing the state’s portion of this project is our number one priority, but the federal government has stalled, most recently failing to dedicate a single cent from its infrastructure package to its portion of this project.”

Senator Rubio added: “The Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir is the crown jewel of Everglades restoration and is the single most important project for reducing harmful discharges and sending more water south. I am grateful that Governor DeSantis, Congressman Mast, and Congressman Donalds continue to prioritize this critically important project for our state. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration did not allocate a single dollar for the project.”

The EAA Reservoir Project is one of the most important Everglades restoration projects for reducing harmful discharges to the estuaries and sending more clean water south to the Everglades. Governor DeSantis expedited this critical Everglades project on his second day in office. 

The importance of Everglades restoration is widely recognized, as is Governor DeSantis’ leadership.

“The Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir, to be built south of Lake Okeechobee, is the most important project in the entire Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, and this is something Governor Ron DeSantis has led on,” said Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation.

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2022/01/31/governor-ron-desantis-calls-on-biden-administration-to-prioritize-funding-for-the-eaa-reservoir-project/

And here: https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=F543BC41-0838-4A61-AD8E-A8CCE9C2CF6C

Read more of what other say here: https://www.flgov.com/2022/01/31/what-they-are-saying-governor-ron-desantis-calls-on-biden-administration-to-prioritize-funding-for-the-eaa-reservoir-project/


Governor DeSantis announces $89 million in funding for workforce education

Governor DeSantis announced $89 million in funding for workforce education, including a first-of-its-kind Career and Technical Education (CTE) initiative for charter schools.  

Governor DeSantis made the announcement at Santa Fe College, which was awarded funding to create a charter school that will allow high school students to earn credentials and college credit while in high school. The funding also includes high school CTE dual enrollment programs, apprenticeships and cybersecurity and IT training.

In 2019, Governor DeSantis set the goal of making Florida the number one state in the nation for workforce education by 2030, and with this investment, Florida has dedicated more than $3.5 billion to expand workforce education and training programs in the state since 2019. 

“I set a goal to make big improvements to workforce education opportunities in Florida, and we are making great strides,” Governor DeSantis said. “Today’s announcement will expand technical education opportunities across Florida, especially for high school students. These initiatives will also help businesses in Florida recruit highly-skilled workers to fill needed positions, thereby strengthening Florida’s economic base.” 

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2022/02/02/governor-ron-desantis-announces-89-million-for-workforce-education-initiatives-bringing-total-investment-to-greater-than-3-5-billion-since-2019/

LG Nuñez holds panel on combating human trafficking


Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez held a roundtable discussion aimed at combating human trafficking in the state of Florida as part of National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The Lieutenant Governor was joined by Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Shevaun Harris, Citrus Health Network President and CEO Mario Jardon, and Kristi House CEO Amanda Altman. 

“Governor DeSantis and I understand the threat that this pervasive evil poses to Floridians and we will not stand idly by as human trafficking runs rampant in our state,” Lieutenant Governor Nuñez said. “From parents to teachers to business owners and community leaders, each one has a role to play. While today we were able to shed a light on this practice that is hidden in plain sight, our administration will continue to do what we can to hold traffickers accountable, give victims the chance to live their lives that were stolen from them, and eradicate this crime in Florida.”

About 40 percent of human trafficking victims in Miami-Dade County are minors, with ages ranging between 12-14 years old for girls, and 11-13 years old for boys. Some estimates project that a trafficker can make $150,000-$200,000 per child per year and average 4-6 children. In fiscal year 2020-2021, DCF received 2,289 allegations of human trafficking throughout the state of Florida, affecting 1,750 children. 

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2022/01/28/lieutenant-governor-jeanette-nunez-hosts-roundtable-to-highlight-human-trafficking-awareness-month/

AG Moody slams Democrat authoritarianism and Biden’s border chaos

Attorney General Ashley Moody was on Fox Business Wednesday to discuss the struggle between “nonsensical, misguided, misinformed” authoritarianism and the resulting pushback from parents and leaders. She said school COVID mandates are “all about control.”

She also discussed Florida’s latest legal action against the Biden Administration to stop them from acting like a travel agency for illegal immigrants — who, because of the President’s terrible policies, are now essentially able to bill the American taxpayers for their travel expenses. 

Watch AG Moody’s interview here: https://video.foxbusiness.com/v/6295015961001#sp=show-clips

Florida Sheriffs explain why they support Senator Rubio


In highlighting the endorsement of 55 Florida sheriffs, Senator Rubio’s campaign released a video with comments from several of those Florida sheriffs. 

“Senator Rubio understands law enforcement. He has a proven track record of supporting law enforcement, supporting the sheriffs. He understands that safe neighborhoods are the key to any successful community,” Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook said. 

“Senator Rubio is an amazing man. He has proven over the course of his term as a Senator to be a frontrunner and champion for law enforcement,” said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “There’s one clear choice for U.S. Senate and that’s Marco Rubio.”

Watch more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvzZI2vyeGg

Life Update

Senate Committee passes bill to prohibit abortions after 15 weeks

On Wednesday, the Florida Senate Committee on Health Policy passed Senate Bill 146 on Fetal and Infant Mortality Reduction. Based on modern medical knowledge confirming significant developmental milestones of an unborn child by 15 weeks, the legislation prohibits abortion after that point. The legislation also increases health care and education resources available to pregnant mothers and women who may become pregnant with a focus on the prevention of fetal and infant death in Florida.

“When Roe v. Wade was decided almost half a century ago, scientific knowledge of fetal development was very limited. We now know so much more about how a baby develops inside the mother’s womb. We also know that later-term abortions pose greater health risks to women,” said bill sponsor Senator Kelli Stargel. “Having once been a scared teenage mother myself, I understand the challenge and anguish of a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, but I support life, and believe we have a duty to protect it. This bill safeguards innocent, unborn children with beating hearts, who can move, taste, see, feel pain, and whose lives should be protected under the laws of this state.”

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson added: “Abortion kills children and forever changes the life of the mother, the father, and the entire extended family. As an adoptive child myself, it’s always been important to me that we do everything we can to promote adoption as an alternative to abortion.”


Attorney General Moody files lawsuit against Biden border violations 

On Wednesday, Attorney General Ashley Moody announced Florida is taking legal action against the Biden administration for ignoring federal immigration law as the out-of-control situation at the Southwest border continues.

The Attorney General filed an amended complaint challenging President Joe Biden’s latest unlawful immigration policy. Instead of commencing immigration court proceedings against illegal immigrants caught at the border, the federal government is releasing them into the interior without even starting the legal process for their removal. The government is calling this unlawful policy “Parole + Alternatives to Detention.” 

The amended complaint comes after shocking evidence showed dozens of adult male illegal immigrants brought to a U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office, and then bussed to a nearby airport to be sent to their chosen destination inside the United States, including Miami, according to news reports.

“It is appalling that the president is using taxpayer dollars to fund his open-borders agenda — even facilitating flights to transport illegal immigrants around our own country,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody.

“The Biden administration has not only consciously refused to enforce immigration laws, but it has also developed an operation to secretly resettle illegal aliens into communities across Florida and the rest of the United States,” Governor DeSantis said. “They’re doing this in the dark of night without any coordination with states, without any background checks, and without any efforts to initiate the legal process for their removal. I am glad Attorney General Moody is continuing our fight to hold the Biden Administration accountable for its reckless disregard for immigration laws.”  

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2022/02/02/in-case-you-missed-it-governor-desantis-and-attorney-general-moody-announce-florida-is-taking-legal-action-against-biden-administration-for-releasing-illegal-immigrants-into-florida/

Read the complaint here: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/GPEY-CB9JCG/$file/Parole+Amended+Complaint+as+filed.pdf

Social Media Highlights

REMEMBER: @FloridaGOP and retweet and share. The Republican message must be spread around the state, and you are integral to making that happen.

RPOF Newsletter – November 4, 2021

Chairman’s Message

Florida job growth soars. Covid cases plummet.

At the same time as Covid cases continue to plunge in Florida, to the lowest in the nation, the state’s job growth soars to the highest in the nation — demonstrating again the wisdom of Governor DeSantis’ freedom-first agenda.
Florida’s Covid case count is down 90 percent from two months ago, and 76 percent since Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo signed new rules about a month ago that empowered parental control over their children’s health, banned quarantining healthy people and kept kids in school mask-free. Florida’s case rate is currently half of California’s, which has the strictest mask and vaccine requirements in the nation and is mandating every child over five be vaccinated to attend school.
“Without mandates or lockdowns, COVID-19 cases in Florida have decreased 90% since August,” Governor DeSantis said. “In addition to cases, hospitalizations have plummeted in our state. This has been accomplished by making monoclonal antibody treatments and vaccines widely available throughout our state while protecting Floridians from government overreach.”
Draconian, freedom-squashing government mandates do not stop Covid and Florida’s path is shown to be the best in dealing with the virus while allowing people to freely make their own health decisions.
These freedoms have fueled Florida’s economy by allowing businesses and consumers to go about creating a thriving marketplace.
Florida’s economy rapidly accelerated in September, growing at three times the rate of the nation’s growth. Florida gained 84,500 total jobs, marking 17 consecutive months of private-sector job growth. Importantly, Florida has also seen 11 consecutive months of labor force increases, adding 50,000 workers in just the past month. Florida’s labor force growth of 5.4% is dramatically higher than the national rate of 0.8%.
In total, Florida has gained more than one million jobs since April 2020, and September’s job creation was almost twice that of California.
“While the entire nation gained 194,000 jobs in September, Florida gained 84,500 jobs in the same month – we are outpacing the nation in job growth and job opportunities because businesses know that Florida will stand up for them,” Governor DeSantis said. “We will continue to work hard to keep Florida open, free and built for opportunity.” 
Governor DeSantis was joined this week by representatives of three Florida-based businesses — Tervis, PGT Innovations, and Anna Maria Oyster Bar — to highlight the recent success of Florida’s job market and support Florida-based companies.
“Governor DeSantis has created a business environment that has enabled us to hire 115 people since June that has helped minimize the broader impact that the pandemic created, and Tervis is very fortunate to be in a state with a healthy economy,” said Rogan Donelly, President and CEO, Tervis. “Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, Tervis was able to keep our headquarters open in order to manufacture our products, our employees were able to safely stay at work and provide for their families.”
“The pro-business atmosphere in Florida has been crucial for PGT innovations to prosper; specifically over the last 18 months, our business has benefited from low taxes from forward-thinking policies,” said Rod Hershberger, Chairman, PGT Innovations. “We’re able to stay open and continue working because of Governor DeSantis’ efforts to protect Florida jobs. This is the best place to work from a tax perspective and from the leadership that we have, and we intend to stay here for a long time.”
“Everybody in our industry feels we’ve got a governor that’s got our back, that’s working with us, that’s working to help us,” said John Horne, President & Owner, Anna Maria Oyster Bar. 
These three represent the sentiments of thousands of thriving and grateful Florida businesses.


Governor DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a lawsuit today against the Biden Administration’s order requiring employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated by December 8. The Governor promised to take legal action to stop federal overreach and is keeping that promise, making Florida the first state in the nation to hold the President accountable.
The lawsuit seeks an immediate end to the unlawful requirement that federal contractors ensure that all employees are injected. 
“Just months ago Joe Biden was saying that it wouldn’t be appropriate or lawful for the federal government to mandate these COVID shots,” Governor DeSantis said. “But now we have somehow gone from 15 days to slow the spread to 3 jabs to keep your job. The federal government is exceeding their power and it is important for us to take a stand because in Florida we believe these are choices based on individual circumstances.”
“I have never seen such blatant disregard for the Constitution or the laws governing our country,” said Attorney General Moody. “President Biden does not have the authority to force millions of Americans to receive a shot, nor does he have the ability to punish Florida economically for not abiding by his authoritarian, unlawful, and unconstitutional executive order.” 
The Governor and Attorney General were joined at the announcement by Floridians who are facing consequences as a result of vaccine mandates.


With Congress back in session, Val Demings radicalness is impossible to hide. She is in lock-step with the most extremist members of Congress, such as the socialist Squad, and out of touch with Floridians by supporting every penny of the full-fledged $3.5 trillion socialist spending spree.
In joining fellow radicals to push this budget, Demings is supporting 40 separate tax increases that would take $2 trillion out of Americans’ pockets. In addition to tax hikes on Florida families, the socialist spending spree paves the way for the Green New Deal, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and taxpayer-funded abortion. 
Demings is trying to unseat Senator Marco Rubio, who released a great ad highlighting how radical his opponent is, voting with the Squad 94 percent of the time.  


What they’re saying about Governor DeSantis calling for a Special Session
Business owners and industry leaders from around the state applauded Governor DeSantis’ call for a Special Session of the Florida Legislature last week to protect Florida employees from unconstitutional vaccine mandates and vaccine passports.
Here is what they are saying:
Ralph A. Lewis, Co-Owner of Florida’s oldest steakhouse, Okeechobee Steakhouse, said: “Without Governor DeSantis holding his ground and making decisions based on scientific facts, our loss of business would be catastrophic. From the staff of Okeechobee Steakhouse and Okeechobee Prime Meat Market, thank you, Governor DeSantis, for allowing us to keep our jobs.”
Charles Musgrove, Jr., CPA and Founder of CAPSERV360, said: “Thank you to Governor DeSantis for standing in the breach to protect our liberties. I have never been prouder to be a Floridian than over the past 18 months. Your leadership is inspirational for all Americans and an example for all political leaders whether local, state, or federal.”
Nick Sarra, Chief Operations Officer of Saltwater Restaurants, said: “Allowing customers to freely dine without mandated vaccine passports has allowed us to continue to employ hundreds of workers in our nine restaurants across Northwest Florida. Placing our employees on the front line of our customers’ medical decisions is not their responsibility as professionals in the restaurant industry. We are grateful for Governor Ron DeSantis’ strong support of restaurants and our employees.” 

RPOF Newsletter – October 15, 2021

A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

October 15, 2021 

When it comes to elections, Florida is the model to follow, and President Trump agrees!

During the Evander Holyfield-Vitor Belfort promotional fight, President Trump praised Florida’s 2020 elections, saying “Florida has been great. And they ran the election clean and that’s very important.” 

Earlier this week, Governor DeSantis was asked about an election audit in Florida and our Governor made it clear that Florida is the gold standard of elections with results that were quickly and efficiently tabulated. Florida has already audited the election, in fact, Florida law requires an automatic audit in all 67 counties, and the results are open to the public. 


“What we do in Florida is, there’s a pre- and post-election audit that happens automatically,” DeSantis said, in an article published by News Service of Florida. “So, that has happened. It passed with flying colors.” 

Florida law requires that after every election, an audit is automatically conducted in every county.  This audit is open to the public.

Amongst the election reforms Governor DeSantis and the Republican legislature put in the books is ensuring voter ID not only for in-person voting but when requesting a VBM too, making sure there is no ballot-harvesting and going forward, VBM drop boxes must be staffed at all times to ensure the integrity of the ballots deposited.

Assuring voters that election integrity will be upheld has been of significant concern for Governor DeSantis who replaced two disgraced supervisors of elections in Broward and Palm Beach counties in the first month of his administration. Other states should follow Florida’s lead.

President Trump put out the following statement this week regarding the country’s 2020 election.

Florida is the model to follow when it comes to election integrity. We are very proud of the great work that Republicans in Florida are doing to ensure that this remains so. We would hope that the numerous states that showed election irregularities would follow Florida’s lead. 

While running a clean election is key, our enormous victory in November 2020 was made possible by the efforts of Florida Republicans and our grassroots organization–we surpassed expectations from the “experts”, pollsters and punditry class.

The impressive results reflected a great Republican team effort in the Sunshine state which saw record numbers of volunteers knocking on doors, making phone calls, putting up signs and donating– showing patriotic support in numerous ways. Headlines reluctantly had to reflect that Florida is no longer a swing state and Florida sees Red everywhere.

A few key decisions helped pave the way toward victory: investing in on-the-ground field staff to enhance GOTV, and a robust voter registration effort that was propelled by Governor DeSantis which narrowed the gap between registered Republicans to Democrats to a historic low. Additionally, under Governor DeSantis’ leadership and commitment by the Florida Republican legislature this past Legislative Session, Florida further strengthened statutes related to election integrity helping ensure that our laws continue to be a model for the country.

For example, the Legislature amended the law to allow for more time for pre-canvassing of vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots prior to the election—codifying the extended time Governor DeSantis provided to supervisors of elections in 2020 through Executive Order.  Without this extra time to count VBM ballots, Florida would have been like other states where VBM ballots were still being counted weeks after the election.

As a result of our great efforts, President Trump duly won the state of Florida and all 29 electoral votes.  We flipped two congressional seats in Miami Dade county, picked up five state House seats and two open seats that had been held by Democrats.  Republicans also defeated Amendment 3 that would have turned our primary system into California’s and would have caused Florida irreparable harm.

We are proud of all we’ve accomplished and our momentum continues–we are 23,000 Republican voters away from taking the advantage and flipping Florida’s voter registration RED. 

Thanks to your hard work the Sunshine State is the model to follow for the rest of the nation! 

Thank you, 

Chairman Joe Gruters
Republican Party of Florida


RPOF Newsletter – February 11, 2021

A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

February  11, 2021 

Breaking News: Biden Administration Considering Domestic Travel Restrictions?

While in Charlotte County today, Governor Ron DeSantis made strong comments in reaction to a report, quoting an unnamed White House official who is suggesting that the Biden Administration is considering imposing domestic travel restrictions on Americans and Floridians.

Here is what Governor DeSantis said:

“I think it is an absurd report. It would be unconstitutional, unwise, and unjust. And if you think about it, restricting the rights of Americans to travel freely throughout our country, while allowing illegal aliens to pour across the southwestern border unmolested would be a ridiculous but very damaging farce.

We will oppose it 100 percent, it would not be based on science, it would purely be a political attack against the people of Florida.”


Chairman’s Message

Thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis’ leadership, Florida’s COVID vaccine distribution process is so efficiently run that the response time from a phone call from community leaders to shots in the arms of residents at a pop-up site can be implemented almost in real time.

Governor DeSantis has repeatedly stated his appreciation for elected leaders, health officials, emergency management officials and frontline workers  at the state and local levels who are working together to ensure the highest number of seniors get vaccinated. This week Governor DeSantis spoke at a Venice pop-up vaccination site that clearly demonstrated this type of successful collaboration.  Venice is a community with a high percentage of older Floridians that was in need of an extra boost.

The three-day site began operating on Wednesday and will administer 1,000 vaccines per day through Friday, February 12, for a total of 3,000 vaccines for Florida’s seniors in the Sarasota County area. 

To watch the Governor’s event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7FyQ1nXtfI


Covid-19 Update

Governor DeSantis announced additional COVID-19 vaccination sites across the state of Florida through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. The sites will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines on Friday at 490 pharmacy locations across 52 counties. The State of Florida secured these retail partnerships and collaborated to identify strategic locations for each store to ensure maximum reach.

“Florida is proud to partner with Walmart and other retailers, including Publix, to expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine,” Governor DeSantis said. “Through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, we look forward to reaching more Floridians and ensuring that all eligible residents who want a vaccine are able to receive one. We will continue to utilize strategic partnerships and identify innovative ways to get more shots in arms and put Florida’s Seniors First.”  

In Florida, Publix Super Markets, Walmart/Sam’s Club and Southeastern Grocers (Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket and Fresco y Más) pharmacies were selected to begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Publix – 593 locations
  • Walmart and Sam’s Club – 119 locations
  • Winn-Dixie – 43 locations

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/02/09/governor-ron-desantis-announces-additional-covid-19-vaccination-sites-at-walmart-and-publix-locations-throughout-florida/


Florida Update


The Republican Lieutenant Governors Association (RLGA), a caucus of the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), announced that our Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez will serve as the committee’s chairman through 2021.

Lieutenant Governor Nuñez is recognized by Floridians and her peers for being a leader, helping the RSLC shatter fundraising records, which paved the way for Republicans to deliver key victories in 2020, including in North Carolina and Utah. Her leadership in Florida also helped increase Republican majorities in both of Florida’s legislative chambers. She will be instrumental as the organization now shifts its focus to the 32 elections across the country in the next two years.

We are proud of Lieutenant Governor Nuñez, Florida’s first Hispanic female Lieutenant Governor, for all her hard work and unwavering commitment to improving the lives of all Floridians. 

Read more here: https://rslc.gop/rlga-announces-florida-lieutenant-governor-jeanette-nunez-as-chairman/


Disney may consider moving its headquarters operations to Florida from California, where the company is struggling to reopen its theme parks. The potential move makes Disney the latest in a growing number of companies considering moving some or all of their operations out of California, which has some of the strictest lockdown measures in the country.

Over the course of the pandemic, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has lambasted California’s handling of the pandemic, calling the rules in place “arbitrary.”

“We are extremely disappointed that the State of California continues to keep Disneyland closed despite our proven track record. Our health and safety protocols are all science-based and have the support of labor unions representing 99% of our hourly cast members,” Chapek said. 

It’s a tragedy that several states such as California continue to crush their businesses and their people when states like Florida have been open since late spring and show no worse Covid numbers than the closed states.

Read more here: https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/exodus-california-disney-florida


CFO Jimmy Patronis spoke with Fox and Friends about how California businesses are eager to come to Florida, the state with a “whopping 0% income tax.” Of course, the latest company talking about making that move is Walt Disney, a decision that would be huge for both the company and the state of Florida.

Patronis continues to keep working to keep Florida open, something that New York City restaurant owners are finding enticing. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has kept New York closed for so long that many are losing their businesses, where cities like Miami have been open at 100% capacity since October.

Patronis also recently spoke with The Floridian about running for re-election and how he will not shy away from his support of former President Trump and the efforts that he has made here in Florida. Heading into re-election means he isn’t willing to back down and will not go down without a fight.

Watch his full interview here: https://floridianpress.com/2021/02/patronis-ready-for-reelection-says-he-wont-shy-away-from-his-loyalty-to-trump/


RPOF Newsletter – February 4, 2021

A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

February  4, 2021 

Message from Chairman Joe Gruters

Florida GOP unified in taking on Big Tech censorship. Led by Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida Republican leadership stormed onto the offensive to protect Floridians from Big Tech, calling them “monopoly communications platforms” whose economic interests are “not in the public interest” during a speech announcing new legislation. 

The “Transparency in Technology Act” would increase technology transparency in Florida, particularly as it relates to Big Tech firms like Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, Apple, Amazon, and Google/Youtube. 

“In Florida, our message to Big Tech is loud and clear. Big Tech companies have long since abdicated the protection of consumers for the pursuit of profit and we can’t allow Floridians’ privacy, voices, or livelihoods be violated or diminished,” Governor DeSantis said during a press conference announcing the proposal. “When it comes to elections, Big Tech shouldn’t be in the business of censoring or de-platforming candidates, but rather, voters should be able to make that choice independently. Floridians should be able to choose which content to consume and which to ignore, because I want to preserve Florida’s rich, diverse public discourse and not allow corporate-owned, content managing outlets to dominate our voices.” 

Joining the governor at the announcement were Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, Senate President Wilton Simpson along with the bill sponsors, Senator Danny Burgess and House Commerce Committee Chair Blaise Ingoglia.

Republican leadership across the board is supporting this proposal. 

Read more and see the Governor’s interview here: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/desantis-big-tech-crackdown-florida

And here: https://www.theblaze.com/news/desantis-legislation-crack-down-on-big-tech

Every few years the media trots out a well-warn tact — the GOP is divided! This year the Miami Herald started the fake-out with this tweet from its Tallahassee bureau chief: “Florida GOP faces a divided party, and the uncertainty of redistricting so it is turning to a tactic it knows best: advancing conservative bills that energize the base — but sidestep imminent challenges.” 

The story then lists the bills, except they aren’t at all divisive. For instance, the article calls HB 1, the anti-rioting legislation, “politically divisive.” But nearly two out of three registered Florida voters support it, including more than half “strongly supporting” it. Even 4 in 10 Democrat primary voters support it. 

The story also lists the proposal above by Governor DeSantis and GOP leaders in the Legislature that would protect Floridian’s privacy and free speech options. That will also likely be popular. The media is getting the GOP divided shtick exactly wrong again. Popular bills with bipartisan support are not politically divisive. They are unifying.

COVID-19 Update

More and more Publix stores are administering the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida. Governor DeSantis announced the addition of Nassau, Pasco and Pinellas to the list of counties where Florida Publix pharmacies are administering the COVID-19 vaccine, bringing the total number to 325 in 23 counties. 

“My administration remains laser focused on making the COVID-19 vaccine accessible to seniors through our partnership with Publix,” said Governor DeSantis. “With the addition of Nassau, Pasco and Pinellas counties now administering vaccines, we are able to continue our ever-expanding mission to support Florida’s seniors.”

For a list of all vaccination sites at Publix locations in Florida, go here. https://www.publix.com/covid-vaccine/assets/publix-pharmacy-covid-19-vaccine-fl-store-list.pdf


The state of Florida will be sending 4,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to reopen a vaccination site in The Villages, Governor DeSantis said this week. This site, which will now be permanent, will be in addition to the permanent vaccination site at the Wildwood Community Center, also in Sumter County.

To watch the Governor’s announcement, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RQg6SHzc2k&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=GovernorRonDeSantis

Florida Update

Governor DeSantis announced that more than $92 million that will be available to local governments through the Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus Relief Program.

The CDBG-CV program is designed to help local governments prepare, prevent, and respond to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. Program activities must be critical to the area and primarily benefit low- and moderate-income residents. 

“As Florida communities continue responding to and recovering from the pandemic, this funding will provide local governments and their communities with vital support,” said Governor DeSantis. 


The final signing of Florida’s $90 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America Grant was announced by Governor DeSantis this week. This announcement was applauded by Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello, NASA, the Federal Highway Administration and Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, as well as space industry partners at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

“We are preparing for future growth, facilitating local commerce, and ensuring economic vitality for Florida’s booming Space Coast all while encouraging space freight mobility,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.


Governor DeSantis announced that $75 million has been awarded to 30 communities through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida Critical Facility Hardening Program. The program allows local governments to increase the resiliency of critical facilities that serve a public safety purpose for local communities. 

“While we continue to help communities recover from the impacts of major storms in recent years, we also need to prepare for future storms,” Governor Ron DeSantis said. “This funding will be central to that preparation and make these communities more resilient.”


Governor DeSantis made two new judicial appointments to the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court, which covers Orange and Osceola Counties. 

Judge Gisela Laurent, of Winter Garden, has served on the Orange County Court since 2017. She previously served as Sole Practitioner at the Laurent Law Firm. Laurent is the first female Hispanic judge to be appointed by a Governor to the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and her law degree from the University of Florida College of Law.

Joshua Mize, of Winter Park, has been the Owner of Mize Law since 2018. He previously served as an Associate at Morris, Manning & Martin. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from the University of Florida College of Law.


Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis notified Florida Clerks of Court that the Department of Financial Services intends to audit certain clerks for their involvement with Penn Credit, a debt collection vendor that has come under federal scrutiny for allegations related to public corruption.

To narrow the scope of the audit, the Department has requested all Florida Clerks of Court self-report within 30-days on whether Penn Credit was an approved vendor. 

Read more here: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/sitePages/newsroom/pressRelease.aspx?id=5777


RPOF Newsletter – January 21, 2021

A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

January  21, 2021 

Message from Chairman Joe Gruters

Welcome home, President Trump. Florida is ready to have you here full time. On behalf of Florida Republicans, I want to thank you for pushing so hard for policies that put America and Americans first.

You will be remembered long after you leave office for your enormous accomplishments, including remaking the federal judiciary with over 230 Constitutionalist appointees, creating Space Force, massive deregulation, energy independence, operation Warp Speed for the vaccines, multiple Mideast peace agreements, driving our economy to record highs, exposing China and Big Tech and securing our border.

And the best is yet to come!

So now we look forward, knowing that the freedoms and foundations of the most exceptional nation on earth rest on our shoulders. They are ours to carry and defend. We are the voices for our cherished American rights. We are the voices for the hard-working Americans aspiring for better lives for themselves and their children. We fight for the American Dream to remain alive. It does not die on our watch.

And in looking forward, we see the Republican Party of Florida in a very strong position going into 2022 Midterms. Our standard bearer Governor Ron DeSantis is a proven, effective and principled leader, the best governor in the nation who understands and defends the basic freedoms of Floridians. His response to the pandemic is now widely seen as the path other states should have taken last spring and are finally beginning to. He is a leader among leaders and we are fortunate to have him heading our Party in 2022.

We have closed the registration gap on Democrats and intend to overcome them by November 2022 and have a majority Republican Florida! This is very doable and working together in all 67 counties we can make it happen. We have more Republicans in Congress, more Republicans in the state Senate, more Republicans in the state House and we will be getting at least two more Congressional seats for 2022.

The future for the Republican Party of Florida is bright, but only because we are all pulling together, defending the Republic, defending a bright future for our children against the forces of leftist socialism that would tear down everything.

Annual Meeting

It was a great meeting as Governor DeSantis gave a dynamic update. 

“Republicans around the country are looking at the State of Florida for leadership,” Gov. DeSantis said. “We will be undeterred in our defense of freedom — the freedom of Floridians to work, to send their kids to in-person school, and to enjoy the blessings of a beautiful state. With your help and hard work, we will be successful today, tomorrow and into the future.”

In a strong show of unity, members also heard from Republican leaders including Lt. Gov. Jeannette Nunez, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Senate President Wilton Simpson, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, Congressman Mike Waltz, Congressman Byron Donalds and Congressman Matt Gaetz.

Members also reelected Chairman Joe Gruters, Vice Chairman Christian Ziegler, Treasurer Mike Moberly, Secretary Kristy Banks, Assistant Secretary Clint Pate and Assistant Treasurer Jeremy Evans. All were unanimous votes.

Florida Update

President Trump granted deferred enforced departure to Venezuelan nationals for the next 18 months as one of his last acts in office, a move long sought by Floridians Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who argued it was wrong to force Venezuelans to return home while Nicolas Maduro remains in power.  

“The Trump Administration has taken a significant and much-needed step to help Venezuelan nationals residing in the U.S.,” Rubio said in a statement.



The COVID vaccination rollout continues to be a success despite limited supplies of the vaccine. Governor DeSantis highlighted Florida’s strong momentum on vaccinating seniors age 65 and older. Since the beginning of the public health emergency, Governor DeSantis has put Florida’s Seniors First and the results are proving the effectiveness of his efforts.

Florida was the first state in the nation to vaccinate more than 500,000 individuals 65 years of age or older and is one of only three states to administer vaccines to more than one million people. Florida continues to have the highest percentage of vaccines administered to seniors 65 and older, with vaccinations in that age bracket accounting for nearly 65% of total vaccinations in the state.

“Florida remains steadfast in our commitment to putting Seniors First and the numbers speak for themselves,” Governor DeSantis said.

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2021/01/20/florida-leads-the-nation-in-vaccines-for-ages-65-with-seniors-first-approach/


Florida surgeon general reassures Floridians. Most recently, Florida’s Surgeon General Scott Rivkees urged the federal government to increase shipments of coronavirus vaccines to the Sunshine State where we have a large population of seniors who are facing the greatest risk of illness and death from this horrible virus. Dr. Scott Rivkees also shared a message of hope and reassurance with Floridians that their turn will come!

“The message is this: We will get to you,”

~~ Dr. Scott Rivkees, Florida Surgeon General 

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/seniors-florida-coronavirus-pandemic-1e63239e1724958fcb9245e63e593364


Florida continues to expand the state’s partnership with Publix to establish COVID vaccination sites at an additional 137 Publix locations, Governor Ron DeSantis announced this week. New vaccination sites will be established at Publix pharmacies throughout six counties: 

  • 67 in Palm Beach County;
  • 32 in Lee County;
  • 22 in Brevard County;
  • 7 in Charlotte County;
  • 7 in Martin County; and
  • 2 in Monroe County.

These vaccination sites are in addition to the 105 Publix locations announced in the past two weeks, for a total of 242 Publix locations in 18 counties.  

Three new state-run COVID sites have been launched by the Florida Department of Health and Florida Division of Emergency Management: the Marlins Stadium in Miami; University Mall in Tampa; and the Regency Square Mall in Jacksonville. All three sites will be open seven days a week and will offer the vaccine to all individuals 65 years of age and older, as well as frontline health care workers.

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2021/01/19/governor-ron-desantis-announces-additional-covid-19-vaccination-sites-at-publix-super-markets-3/

Governor DeSantis is targeting “vaccination tourism,” creating a set of guidelines to stop people who are just visiting the state from getting vaccinated.

At separate news conferences Tuesday, Governor DeSantis said he wants to ensure the state’s COVID vaccine supply is being directed to Florida residents. “That can include people who live here half the year, but it’s not for people just visiting,” the governor said during an appearance in Rockledge.

 Read more here:

To get text alerts and updates regarding from Governor Ron DeSantis on the state’s COVID-19 efforts text FLCOVID19 to 888777.


RPOF Newsletter – November 19, 2020

A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

November  19, 2020 


This afternoon Governor Ron DeSantis provided the public with an update about the state’s COVID-19 distribution plan and new therapeutics that will protect Florida’s most vulnerable residents.

I am so proud that our Governor has continued to show remarkable leadership both in Florida and nationally during these extraordinary times. His number one priority has always been protecting Floridians and his swift actions have saved tens of thousands of lives starting with Florida’s most vulnerable populations.

Governor DeSantis has been a true leader and has set a national example that should be recognized.

In the video below from Governor Ron DeSantis, he highlights the two, much talked about vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna, and the plan to distribute the vaccines to five Florida hospital systems. There will be roughly 40 million doses of these two vaccines available – 25 million from Pfizer and 15 million from Moderna.

The RPOF applauds Governor DeSantis and his dedicated team for their tireless efforts during the pandemic on behalf of Floridians

The video update and text of the message from Governor DeSantis is included below.

Chairman Joe Gruters
Republican Party of Florida


Governor Ron DeSantis Provides Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan & New Therapeutics

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis provided an update regarding Florida’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, as well as new therapeutic treatments that are available to those most vulnerable to the virus. Florida is prepared to distribute vaccines pending approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Watch the Governor’s update by clicking the image below or clicking HERE.  

Today’s update follows the Governor’s recent trip to Washington, D.C. where he met with U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, Operation Warp Speed Director for Supply, Production and Distribution Paul Ostrowski, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield, HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dr. Robert Kadlec and Director of the CDC Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response Dr. Stephen Redd. 

Text from Governor DeSantis’ video message as written is provided below:

Hello, this is Governor Ron DeSantis.

This month has brought promising news regarding therapeutics and vaccines to combat COVID-19.

The State of Florida has been working to procure the new treatment for our hospitals and has also made plans to assist in the distribution of a safe and effective vaccine, which we believe will be delivered relatively soon.

I’ve also been able to meet with key officials involved in Operation Warp Speed in Washington and have been able to get key questions answered for the state of Florida.

I know there has been a lot of discussion about the vaccines, and rightfully so, it’s important. But I think the new therapeutic developed by Eli Lilly, and is approved for emergency use by the FDA, is also very significant. 

The treatment is a monoclonal antibody cocktail. It is administered through an IV. It takes about an hour for the IV to be administered, and then an hour to observe the patient afterwards. It is best used for people who are at high-risk of severe complications from COVID-19. 

The key is to deliver the IV as soon in the infection as possible. This will be people who show up to an emergency room, are developing symptoms but are not yet at a critical state, where they would be in an intensive care unit.

Data from clinical trials found a 70% reduction in hospitalized patients who utilized this treatment. We also know that a similar cocktail is being developed by the company Regeneron. That is currently pending before the FDA for emergency use authorization. We think that may also come in the relatively near future. Of course, that would also mean more supply of this particular treatment for folks.

We surveyed all hospitals in Florida to determine demand. We sent that information to the federal government and the Health and Human Services department used that information and have now sent over 3,000 doses of the treatment directly to hospitals. This has arrived just within the past few days, and they plan on sending a similar amount every week for the foreseeable future.

I’ve spoken with several hospital CEOs and I’m pleased to report that many have already received the treatment and are moving forward administering the treatment.

We are going to continue to work with hospitals and other providers to ensure that qualifying individuals have access to this treatment.

Now, the vaccine news has been particularly heartening that has come out in the last couple weeks. Since July, we in the state of Florida have been actively planning and preparing for vaccine distribution, including by purchasing necessary supplies. 

To date, we have purchased 5 million syringes, 5 million needles and 5 million alcohol swabs.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have reported vaccines with 95% effectiveness. Those will hopefully within the next few weeks receive FDA approval. The Pfizer vaccine is one that needs to be stored in negative 70-degree temperatures.

The state of Florida has identified 5 different hospital systems who can store the vaccine at those temperatures and administer that to the qualifying individuals.

The Moderna vaccine can be used in normal refrigeration and does not require those extreme low temperatures. That will potentially provide more flexibility.

Right now, the best estimate that the federal government has is that by the end of December, pending FDA approval, there will be roughly 40 million doses of these two vaccines available. 25 million for Pfizer and 15 million for Moderna. Each individual requires two doses. That would mean there will be enough vaccine for 20 million Americans by the end of December.

The good thing about this is millions of doses are ready to ship as we speak. As soon as the FDA approves, they will then go out within the next 24 hours. We expect our hospitals, hopefully, to receive these within the next 3 to 6 weeks. It is all contingent on when the FDA approves.

Shortly thereafter, or maybe even at the same time that hospitals are receiving the vaccine, both CVS and Walgreens will also begin receiving the vaccine to administer to residents of long-term care facilities, who are of course our most vulnerable citizens when it comes to COVID-19.

So far, nearly 2,000 long-term care facilities have registered so that they can start getting their residents vaccinated as soon as the vaccine arrives.

As we move forward, my administration is going to continue to work hand in hand with our federal partners, and we will provide you updates as soon as we have them.

In fact, I was just in Washington, D.C. meeting with the secretary of HHS and the director of the CDC to ensure that the State of Florida is fully prepared to distribute the vaccine as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Our goal is to make all safe and effective COVID vaccines available to Floridians who want them, but the state will not mandate that Floridians take these vaccines. That is going to be the choice of each and every Floridian.

I do believe that these breakthroughs represent probably the greatest rays of hope that we have seen since the pandemic began. They offer the prospect of saving thousands and thousands of lives, and to potentially bring this pandemic to an end. 

Thank you all for all you have been doing. I know it has been tough. We are going to keep working hard to support everyone.

God bless you all.



RPOF Newsletter – October 30, 2020

A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

October 30, 2020 

President Trump roused a crowd of thousands in a Tampa rally Thursday afternoon outside Raymond James Stadium, matching the enthusiasm of Floridians — some of whom had been gathering since before sunrise — with his own unparalleled enthusiasm for America and Americans. The case for another four years has never been stronger. The giant rally swamped the embarrassingly small, subdued “drive-in” gathering that Joe Biden held later in Tampa.

The timing of Thursday’s rally was perfect as the President pointed out the Third Quarter GDP numbers that were released just hours earlier exceeded even sky-high expectations at 33.1 percent growth. That translates into millions of jobs returning and hope for families and businesses across the country. The amazing part of this V-shaped economic rebound is that it is being done with the large economic engines of California and New York still mostly shutdown.

President Trump was introduced by First Lady Melania Trump and joined by Governor Ron DeSantis, First Lady Casey DeSantis, Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez and RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters.

It was a great Monday night as the Republican Senate approved President Trump’s third Supreme Court Justice appointment, and Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in two hours later by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. This is what Republican leadership looks like. Efficiently, without loud histrionics, getting the work of the nation done and making sure the Supreme Court will rule on the law and Constitution as it is supposed to — not on the personal policy preferences of unelected Justices. 

In brief remarks after her swearing in, Barrett reiterated the importance of judicial impartiality while serving on the court. “It is the job of a judge to resist her policy preference…(it would be a) dereliction of duty to give in to them,” she said. “This separation of duty is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government.”

ACB is the real deal, in the mold of Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and other great Constitutionalists. She will do the nation proud. 

The full court press continues with Gruters and Vice Chairman Ziegler criss-crossing the state, walking and door-knocking with energetic and committed Republican volunteers and candidates sprinting to the Nov. 3 finish line. They will be in West Palm Beach today, Sarasota on Saturday and Miami on Sunday. Republicans in Florida refuse to cede any ground to Democrats anywhere. We’re fighting for every vote because we’re fighting for our nation’s future.

Earlier this week, the RPOF leaders traveled to Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Lake and Clay counties, seeing real momentum among the hundreds of enthusiastic Republicans they worked with. They also were with Donald Trump, Jr. at an event in Duval County.

Gruters spoke before Ivanka Trump’s speech in Sarasota Tuesday to a huge crowd gathered at Nathan Benderson Park’s world-class rowing facility. Congressmen Greg Steube and Vern Buchanan also spoke at the event.

Governor Ron DeSantis Update

Governor DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that the state of Florida has been awarded $5 million in funding to create a new pilot program, Support to Communities: Fostering Opioid Recovery through Workforce Development.

The pilot program will address the health and economic impacts of widespread substance and opioid misuse, addiction and overdose. Funding will provide a full array of wrap-around services including recovery and supportive services, career training and employment services to participants directly impacted by the opioid epidemic. 

“The opioid crisis continues to be a public health concern in Florida,” Governor DeSantis said. “We are grateful to U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia for partnering with Florida to implement this pilot program.”

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2020/10/27/governor-ron-desantis-and-first-lady-casey-desantis-announce-5-million-awarded-from-the-u-s-department-of-labor-to-combat-opioid-crisis/

Governor DeSantis announced the appointment of John Davis as Secretary of the Florida Lottery. 

“John has extensive experience in the public and private sectors and is involved in his community, donating his time and talents to help kids and vulnerable Floridians succeed,” Governor DeSantis said. “His business focus and passion for student-success will serve him well as he takes over this important department.”

Davis, of Orlando, is Executive Vice President of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce. Previously, was President of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida. John also serves on the Florida A&M University Law School Dean’s Advisory Council. A native of Pahokee, he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida State University where he was a standout safety of the Seminole football team.


During a meeting of the Children and Youth Cabinet, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced a statewide partnership with T-Mobile to provide over 600,000 Florida families 100GB of internet per year over the next five years.

This partnership seeks to ensure Florida families have internet access to supplement the hard work in the classroom and coincides with T-Mobile’s Project 10Million. Project 10Million is a national campaign to increase internet connectivity to millions of student households at no cost to them by offering free wireless hotspots and free high-speed data with the goal of making it available to Florida K-12 students who participate in the national school lunch program for low-income families.

Read more: https://www.flgov.com/2020/10/27/first-lady-casey-desantis-announces-partnership-with-t-mobile-project-10million-to-provide-students-free-internet-access/

President Donald Trump Update

After her swearing in as the newest U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Amy Coney Barrett gave a short speech reaffirming her belief in judges setting aside their personal preferences when ruling on cases. 

“The confirmation process has made ever clearer to me one of the fundamental differences between the federal judiciary and the United States Senate. And perhaps the most acute is the role of policy preferences. It is the job of a senator to pursue her policy preferences. In fact, it would be a dereliction of duty for her to put policy goals aside. By contrast, it is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences. It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give in to them. 

“Federal judges don’t stand for election, thus they have no basis for claiming that their preferences reflect those of the people. This separation of duty from political preference is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government…A judge declares independence, not only from Congress and the president, but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her. The judicial oath captures the essence of the judicial duty — the rule of law must always control.”

“She is one of our nation’s most brilliant legal scholars,” Trump said.  

Read more here: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/without-any-fear-or-favor-amy-coney-barrett-vows-to-uphold-constitution-at-supreme-court-swearing-in-ceremony 


Over the past three years, construction crews have installed 90 miles of border wall and almost 40 miles more of a parallel, back-up wall in the Yuma border patrol region, one of the busiest areas for illegal border crossings. And it’s had a real impact in slowing the crossings.

Agents suspect that when the coronavirus pandemic passes and they are no longer able to immediately return illegal immigrants south of the border, as they have been able to, more will attempt to sneak into the U.S. With so many miles of new wall in place, Border Patrol’s head of the Yuma region, Anthony Porvaznik, thinks his agents now actually stand a chance at holding the line.

“We’re much better positioned right now to deal with that traffic when they do come than we have been in the past,” Anthony Porvaznik said.

Read more here: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/in-western-arizona-over-a-hundred-miles-of-new-border-wall-is-getting-results


It’s worth remembering that American leaders from both parties stood down to China for 40 years. The Chinese Communist Party broke the rules on global trade, allowed Chinese firms to steal technology from American companies, and in turn destroyed entire sectors of the American economy.

The corporate class and its chosen “experts,” turned a blind eye to China’s human rights abuses and crackdowns on speech. Washington politicians fell in line: Just open America’s markets to China, they said, and the CCP will change its ways and become a responsible global citizen as it grows richer and stronger.

They were wrong. Under President Trump, America is fighting back.

Read more here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600daily/




RPOF Newsletter – October 23, 2020


A Note from RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis will be joining President Donald Trump on his campaign stops in Pensacola and the Villages today!

Join Us: Pensacola |  The Villages

October 23, 2020

With less than two weeks to go, the polling gap has closed rapidly in Florida. Multiple polls are now showing that Florida is within the margin of error for either candidate, which gives President Trump the momentum. But it’s a dead heat, making every Republican vote all the more critical to ensuring that Florida remains red.

The Florida GOP’s ground game successes are now well-established in the Florida media. Democrats, recognizing the urgency of their deficit, are struggling to catch up, having only begun tentative door-knocking two weeks ago.

Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics tweeted: “If @RealDonaldTrump wins Florida again, a lot of credit has to go to @JoeGruters and the ground game he has put together. Great story about that blocking and tackling from @MitchPerry18.” 

Read the story here: https://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/politics/2020/10/20/canvassing-in-a-swing-state-during-a-pandemic?cid=share_twitter#


Republican Party of Florida General Counsel Ben Gibson did a great job explaining why voters should vote no on Amendment 3 during WESH 2 TV debate this week: “Most people think it just opens up primaries. It doesn’t…it abolishes party primaries.”

Watch Ben Gibson here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfoaFgAWVFA&feature=youtu.be


Republicans continue to win Florida on the ground. On Saturday, RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters and Vice Chairman Christian Ziegler will be part of an Early Voting Rally in Sarasota  County. The RPOF is urging all counties to hold these events to crank up early voting.

After that, they will continue the ground attack by walking and door-knocking in counties around the state, as Republicans have been doing for many months now. Part of the message will be encouraging Republicans to vote early.  

NO on A3More media around the state have come out in favor of Amendment 3 to abolish party primaries, making it all the more important for every Republican to vote No on Amendment 3 and to let everyone else know that if it passes it will ultimately limit their choices in a General Election and make Florida look more like California.

Amendment 3 is a gateway for more big PACs and backroom powerbrokers to squeeze out grassroots Republicans. Remember, it is the system California uses — a one-party state rapidly becoming a shell of its former self. No on Amendment  3.

Governor Ron DeSantis Update

Governor DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said during an appearance at Jacksonville Classical Academy this week that schools should not shut down again. DeSantis said the “physical, mental and social well-being of our kids required us to provide them with the option of in-person learning.”

School unions challenged the July reopening order, but an appeals court ruled in favor of Governor DeSantis, whose administration argued that families should be given the option of having their children learn in person or online.

“Going forward, whatever the future may hold, school closures should be off the table,” Governor DeSantis said. “They don’t do anything to mitigate COVID. But they do cause catastrophic damage to the physical, mental, and social well-being of our youth. Let’s not repeat any mistakes of the past.”

Read more here:  https://www.fox35orlando.com/news/desantis-florida-school-closures-should-be-off-the-table


The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) received a nearly $5 million emergency grant to implement a Crisis Counseling Program to help Floridians respond to the behavioral health impacts resulting from the pandemic.

The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will provide crisis counseling services through Florida’s network of 2-1-1 crisis helplines, helping people in need of mental or behavioral health counseling and referrals.

“Governor DeSantis and I are grateful for the opportunity to increase access to critical behavioral health services,” First Lady Casey DeSantis said. “Through this program, one-on-one counseling will be readily available to those in crisis, ensuring they have the resources and support they need to address their own specific needs, recover fully, and begin to move forward with purpose.”

Read more here: https://www.flgov.com/2020/10/19/first-lady-casey-desantis-and-department-of-children-and-families-announce-nearly-5-million-emergency-grant-for-crisis-counseling-program/


President Donald Trump Update


President Trump has been keeping his promise to secure our borders and fix America’s broken immigration system, creating a more orderly process and helping American workers.

So far, more than 370 miles of new border wall is complete. At the same time, President Trump’s administration is arresting, prosecuting and deporting violent criminals, stopping the flow of illegal drugs, and closing loopholes that help smugglers and hurt our citizens. Apprehensions for illegal immigration dropped 70% between last May and this August. And during the past fiscal year alone, U.S. law enforcement seized more than 100,000 pounds of cocaine, 83,000 pounds of meth, 2,700 pounds of fentanyl, and more.

“The refugee system — set up to provide refuge for victims of war and persecution who had nowhere else to go, often on an explicitly temporary basis — had long since become a racket,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd writes. “It provided prestigious jobs in Washington for ‘resettlement experts’ and taxpayer money for glorified slumlords, while generating massive fallout for unsuspecting American communities. Today the system has finally been returned to its proper role.”

Read more here: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/border-immigration-trump-brandon-judd


A record economic recovery is under way and picking up steam. Brian Wesbury, chief economist at First Trust Advisors, wrote in Real Clear Politics: 

“There is nothing normal about the 2020 recession. Massive nationwide shutdowns of ‘non-essential’ businesses caused real GDP to drop at a 31.4% annual rate in the second quarter, the biggest drop since the 1930s. However, as we expected, a V-shaped recovery is being traced out. On October 29th, in ten days, we expect a report that says third quarter real GDP rebounded at a 33.4% annual rate.

“We may make some minor adjustments to this forecast when new reports on business investment, inventories, and international trade are released, but the third quarter will still be one of the largest jumps in output the US has ever experienced.

“That said, the sharp rebound in Q3 is a testament to the underlying strength of the US economy before the shutdowns happened, combined with the seemingly unlimited ingenuity of American people. Twenty years ago, without the technology we have today, there is no way the US could have rebounded as quickly as it did in the third quarter. Moreover, the US entered this government-mandated recession with the highest incomes and lowest poverty rate we have ever recorded.”

Read more here: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/10/20/massive_v-shaped_recovery_testament_to_strength_of_economy_144491.html