by Rod D. Martin
June 13, 2005

Congratulations are in order, specifically to the newly elected officers of the Florida Chapter of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA-FL). Elected by the state’s convention this weekend in Jupiter, they are:

John Parsons – President
Tom Gaitens – 1st Vice President
Patty McClure – 2nd Vice President
David Wood – 3rd Vice President
Jeanne Karr – Secretary
John Hallman – Treasurer
Robert S. Dlouhy – National Committeeman
Sherri R. Martin – National Committeewoman

The convention featured an address by Richard Engle, the NFRA’s national president, and had an excellent cross-section of Florida conservatives, including representatives from Vanguard PAC, FreedomWorks, the Christian Coalition, the NRA, Eagle Forum, various right to life groups and virtually any other major conservative outfit you could name.

That sort of coalition-building is what sets the NFRA apart, and ultimately reflects the point of the Republican Assembly movement: to make sure that the ideals of conservatism — overwhelmingly the dominant viewpoint of Republicans across the nation — are consistently the ideals of the Republican Party, both in its nominated candidates and in its party officers. From their roots in California in the 1930s, RAs have had an enormous impact leading the party in just that direction, and Ronald Reagan himself said that he could not have won any of his elections without the work of his own state RA in California.

Florida is a wonderful state, and the progress of Republicans here has been tremendous. Yet there’s always more to do, and growth frequently brings unfortunate, needless compromises. I think we can all look to the NFRA Florida Chapter as proof that the Party will be on the right track for years to come, emphasizing activism, holding to its roots and expanding its base, not merely to win public office but to positively change public policy. It will certainly have some excellent people helping it reach those goals.