Trump Club, Orange County Republican Party splitting after tussle – Florida Politics (blog)
A battle between the Orange County Trump Republican Club and the Orange County Republican Executive Committee is ending with the Trump Club essentially quitting the Republican Party.
Randy Ross, founder and president of the Orange County Trump Republican Club, said Friday he and his board voted to dissolve their state charter with the state Republican Party and go it alone, renaming the club the Trump 2020 Club. Ross informed the Republican Party of Florida of that in a letter Tuesday.
That will be fine with the Republican Party leaders in Orange County, because they had sent a letter to RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia on Wednesday asking him to revoke the Trump club’s charter.
The split is ugly, with Orange County Republican Chairman Lew Oliver charging that Ross and the Trump Club mishandled finances to the point that it was “fatal to financial confidence of the organization;” while Ross disputed that and said the club’s rapid growth had alarmed local Republican officials who saw it as a threat to their authority.
Te final decision on the status will be made by Ingoglia, Oliver said. Because the club was formally chartered by the Republican Party of Florida last spring, it cannot dissolve itself, that’s up to the state party to do. The Republican Party of Florida owns the name “Republican” in Florida, and no organization can use it without a charter from the state party.
It’s probably a foregone conclusion that the Trump Club is splitting, since Ross said he and his board concluded they don’t want or need the party’s backing, especially since they want to open its membership to non-Republicans; while Oliver and Republican leaders don’t want the club associated with the party anymore.
Ingoglia and the RPOF did not respond to inquiries about the matter.
Oliver said that in the letter