Trump Claims 'Big' win Over DeSantis in Florida GOP Election

Trump Claims 'Big' win Over DeSantis in Florida GOP Election

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
February 19, 2023

Former President Donald Trump is taking a victory lap around Gov. Ron DeSantis after this past weekend’s Florida GOP chairmanship election, where Vice Chairman Christian Ziegler narrowly defeated Chair of Chairs Evan Power by a vote total of 126-100.

The Floridian was the first media outlet to report that the chairman’s election was a proxy duel between Team DeSantis and Team Trump as speculation grows that the two men will challenge each other in the 2024 Republican presidential primary contest.

Prior to the election, several voting members, political operatives, and party officials questioned the story, saying that the election was not about Trump vs. DeSantis.

But it was, and POLITICO’s Matt Dixon echoed our first-pressed narrative.

Now President Trump has all but confirmed the political proxy war, stating that he defeated Gov. DeSantis in the RPOF chairman’s election.

“We won a big Chairmanship in Florida over the DeSantis Reps, but actually, it’s a win for ALL. That’s the way we want it. Christian will be a great Chairman!” stated President Trump on Truth Social.

Prior to the election, voting members told The Floridian that they had changed their vote from Power to Ziegler because they believed former State Rep. Anthony Sabatini was supporting Power.

Power denied that Sabatini was helping him, but Ziegler asserted that he also heard Sabatini was involved in pushing votes he believed to control in Power’s favor.

We have also heard that “the front of the house,” or state and federally elected officials with a vote, including CFO Jimmy Patronis, all voted for Ziegler because they were told that Gov. Ron DeSantis endorsed Ziegler over Power.

CFO Patronis told The Floridian that he was voting for Zeigler because he knew him longer and because Ziegler helped him out early in his career.

Another rumor that was swirling around the election was that Gov. DeSantis had told legislators to vote for Ziegler.

The state legislator that was accused of pushing the DeSantis-endorsed Ziegler narrative was State Rep. Randy Fine (R).

Rep. Fine denied the allegation made against him, stating, “Absolutely not. The opposite, that the Governor had no preference.”

Gov. DeSantis is said to have stayed out of the fray, and we cannot confirm if he was supporting Power over Ziegler, as other members of the Republican delegation have claimed.

“I think both Evan and Christian are staunch supporters of the governor. It’s not like how you’ve got it framed,” stated one Florida Republican political operative.

In the end, the election looks like a wash for both Team DeSantis and Team Trump.

Ron DeSantis Key Biscayne
Ron DeSantis Key Biscayne

Power was elected vice chairman of the RPOF and will join Ziegler, Republican Party officials, and Gov. DeSantis this Tuesday in Tallahassee for political pow-wow session.

This will be the first DeSantis-led strategy session between the RPOF chairman and the Governor in quite some time.

DeSantis and former Chairman Joe Gruters had an estranged relationship, and its said that early during DeSantis’ first term in office, Gruters was ready to resign his post.

Ziegler, who is a staunch supporter of President Trump, said that he will work alongside DeSantis.

When asked if he would work alongside Gov. DeSantis to forward his “Florida First” agenda for Floridians, Ziegler said that under his leadership, the RPOF would “provide cover and support” the Governor.

“100%. Governor DeSantis is transformational Governor who wakes up every day running towards the fight on behalf of Conservatives. As he takes on these fights, The Republican Party of Florida must provide cover and support by defending and promoting his efforts,” stated Ziegler.

Power echoed what Ziegler stated about DeSantis.

“Florida owes much of its success to the bold leadership of Governor DeSantis. The goal of the RPOF and it’s next Chairman should be to help the Governor amplify his message to potential voters, because as we have seen his agenda resonates with voters. I look forward to working with the Governor,” stated Power.

DeSantis is expected to announce his 2024 presidential run for office shortly after the 2023 legislative session concludes in May.

The announcement could come down after the June 30 Federal Election Commission (FEC) campaign finance filing date.

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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

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