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Proud chairman keeps on burning

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  • | 10:45 p.m. January 7, 2010
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To hear outgoing Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer tell it you'd think he had just jumped on a grenade hurled at party loyalists when he announced his resignation Jan. 5 in a hastily called press conference.

“As chairman, I have a responsibility to the party, therefore I determined the party should always come first,” he told those listening in.

He later added, “I leave here as chairman very proud,” citing Republican majorities in the Florida House and Senate and buddy Gov. Charlie Crist's residency in the governor's mansion.

Those successes evidently were not enough to keep a dozen or so former legislative leaders from pushing for Greer's ouster, including several from the Gulf Coast.

Sen. John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, a former House speaker, is the heir apparent. He is expected to become chairman Feb. 20, the date Greer's resignation is to become effective. Thrasher was just elected last fall to replace recently deceased Sen. Jim King.

According to staff at the Republican Party of Florida office, Thrasher would be the first sitting legislator to chair the Florida GOP.

It's anticipated that Greer will move on to work on friend Charlie Crist's bid for the U.S. Senate. Crist is locked in an increasingly tough battle for the nomination against Republican opponent and former House Speaker Marco Rubio.


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