In addition to tapping former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum to chair his statewide campaign, Newt Gingrich (or at least, his camp) announced support from other Sunshine State politicians.
Among them: Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, former Miami Mayor Joe Carollo (once Suarez's bitter foe) and former Miami state Rep. Luis Rojas.
Read the full press release after the jump.
NEWT 2012 Florida Announces Florida Statewide Leaders
and Steering Committee
Miami, FL - Bill McCollum joins Newt 2012 FL as Statewide Chairman for the campaign. McCollum is joined by former Orange County Mayor Richard Crotty and health care administrator and policy expert Alan Levine, as Co-Chairs.
“Newt Gingrich is the strongest possible candidate that the GOP can field against Obama in 2012. Newt is the right person with the right set of leadership skills and vision for our country at this critical time.” McCollum announced during his endorsement of Newt Gingrich for President.
Crotty praised Gingrich as, “a proven conservative leader who knows how to hold the line on taxes and balance a budget. Newt’s commitment to economic opportunity, as it relates to our nation’s space program is important; thousands of jobs were lost when Obama scrapped plans to return astronauts to space."
Levine added, “I have seen Newt's work up close. His grasp of our country's problems and his ability to bring clarity to solutions is why I believe he is going to be a great President. Floridians always seem to look past the rhetoric and look at records, and I think Newt's record as a conservative leader while governing is unassailable.”
McCollum served in Congress with Gingrich during the fight for government fiscal constraint. “Newt is the most likely Republican candidate to defeat President Obama. He is the most able to articulate the conservative positions, is the most concise and convincing advocate, speaking and debating, is the most versed on foreign policy, and has the best plan to restore the economy.” McCollum continued.
In addition to announcing the State Leadership for Newt 2012 Florida, the campaign’s Steering Committee members were announced. The Newt 2012 Florida Steering Committee members are active voices in state and local politics, and recognized as Florida’s business and community leaders.
“Florida is always a top prize in the presidential election with 29 electoral votes, having statewide leadership like Bill McCollum, Rich Crotty and Alan Levine positions our campaign to tap the organizational resources of former elected officials and the intangibles that are key to Florida campaigns,” remarked Jose Mallea, Florida State Director for Newt 2012 . “We are grateful for their support and guidance,” Mallea concluded.
Steering Committee Members:
Jim Norman, Florida State Senate (District 112); Thad Altman, Florida State Senate (Dist. 24); Michael Bileca, Florida State Representative (Dist.117); Gayle Harrell, Florida State Rep. (Dist. 81); Deborah Mayfield, Florida State Rep.(Dist. 80); Carlos Trujillo*, Florida State Rep. (Dist.116); Xavier Suarez, Miami-Dade County Commission; Steve Abrams, Palm Beach County Commission; Patrick Roff, Vice Mayor of Bradenton and Bradenton City Council; Ray Holt, Jacksonville City Council; Kevin Hohn, Brooksville City Council; Gary Lee, former U.S. Congressman (Lee County); John Grant, Sr.,former Florida State Senator (Hillsborough); Kurt Kelley, former Florida State Rep. (Marion); Luis Rojas, former Florida State Rep. (Miami Dade); Joe Carollo, former Mayor of Miami; Monica Rodriguez (Miami Dade); Ed Depuy, former Leon County Commission; Dan Wyrick, former Chairman of Calhoun County Commission; Allison DeFoor, former candidate for Lt. Governor; Bruce O’Donohough, former Congressional Candidate (Orlando); William Tolley*, Brevard County Chair; Sam Rashid*, Hillsborough County Chair; Coy Clark, Honorary Brevard County Chair; Bert Ralston*, Duval County Co-Chair; Dr. Miguel Fana*, Pinellas County Co-Chair; Nathan Meloon, Gingrich Florida Chair College Republicans; Christian Waugh, Gingrich Florida Chair of Young Republicans.
*Previously announced as Newt 2012 Florida County Leadership team.
Bios for Newt 2012 Florida Statewide Leaders:
Bill McCollum, is the former Florida Attorney General (2007-2011). McCollum was a member of the United State House of Representatives from 1981 to 2001, representing Central Florida. As a member of the House, McCollum served in House leadership with Speaker Gingrich.
Richard Crotty, a former Mayor of Orange County, Florida (2001-2010), grew up in the Orlando area and was named the most powerful person in Central Florida 4 times by the Orlando Sentinel. Crotty is a tireless public servant, who currently serves as the executive vice president of Crossman & Company.
Alan Levine, a health care administrator and health policy expert nationally recognized by Modern Healthcare Magazine. Levine served as Secretary of Health Care Administration, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Jeb Bush. Most recently, served as Secretary of Health for the State of Louisiana. Levine is an expert in disaster preparedness and response. He was part of the leadership team that responded to the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill.