The creation of “Trump Orange County Republican Club 2020” was announced at this month’s Orange County Republican Executive Committee meeting. Randy Ross, one of the key leaders of the local 2016 Trump efforts, said the Trump club will fall under OCREC and will be a charter of the Republican Party of Florida, but remains open to all local constituents.
“The response to the announcement of the creation of the Orange County Trump Republican Club has been well-received locally and throughout the state,” said Ross, who previously served as Orange County Chair for the Trump 2016 campaign. “We welcome people from the Democrat and Independent parties to our club. Our goal is simply to maintain energy and enthusiasm for our President leading to the 2020 election.”
Ross will serve as the club’s President and Melissa McGee, who was also extremely active in the local Trump 2016 campaign serving as Outreach Chair, will serve as Vice President. Carolyn Cook has been announced as the Secretary, and Brett Schulman will be the club’s Treasurer.
According to the club’s initial announcement, the focus will be to “continue to engage, embrace and support President Trump through the 2020 re-election process.” The club will become a space for Central Florida organizing on behalf of Trump supporters, but the announcement also said it will engage and organize to support all Republicans running for office.
The Orange County Trump 2020 efforts have also received the blessing of Florida Republican Party Chair Blaise Ignoglia. Even OCREC Chair Lew Oliver, who has butted heads with Ross in the past, is supportive of the new club. Ross challenged Oliver for Chair last year. At the time, Ross pledged to “Make Orange County Red Again.”
However, Orange County remains extremely “blue.” Democrats have a major voter registration advantage in the county, with 121,574 more registered Democratic voters than Republican voters. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Orange County by approximately a 140,000 vote margin, as the county went 60-35. Trump was able to ultimately win Florida, meaning Democrats do need to increase turnout as much as possible all over the state – especially in “blue” Orange County.
Despite the vote reality in Orange County, the organizing for Trump’s 2020 re-election in Florida has begun. Trump supporters are now back in action locally, focused on organizing a re-election win already. Now the question begs, what are the Democrats doing to organize victory and an increased vote margin in 2020?