Republican Party of Florida to Get a New Executive Director
Delmar Johnson, the executive director of the Florida Republican Party, said Wednesday that he will precede Chairman Jim Greer out the door.
Johnson said he is stepping down Feb. 1 – just under three weeks before Greer’s final day on the job, which coincides with the scheduled Feb. 20 vote among party leaders on a successor.
“This will allow for a little bit of separation between our leaving,” Johnson said. “I don’t want to say anything about what I’ll be doing down the road. But there are a lot of opportunities both here in Tallahassee and in Orlando.”
Johnson had been Charlie Crist’s Central Florida field director in the 2006 governor’s race and followed Greer to the state party after the election. He became executive director last January after Greer was elected to a second, two-year term. Johnson had been the deputy executive director the preceding two years.
It’s likely Greer and Johnson could both find jobs with Crist’s U.S. Senate campaign in coming months, but neither man has committed to that career move.
Looking to succeed Greer are Sen. John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, Broward County State Committeewoman Sharon Day and Osceola County State Committeeman Mark Cross.
Whoever lands the job in the Feb. 20 election – and Thrasher remains the frontrunner based on his support from most top elected officials – will get to choose a new executive director.
But the Florida GOP could be in for some turbulence for a while.
“Senior management has been in contact with many staff members over the last few days to discuss people’s intentions after a new chairman is elected,” party spokeswoman Katie Gordon Betta said.
“With the exception of the base staff, many of the staff members will likely move to Republican campaigns, or will have the opportunity to pursue continuing to work for the RPOF after a new chairman is elected,” she added.