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    Florida to Puerto Rico Response Team

    My friend, and our State Representative, Bob Cortes may have as many as 7 relatives evacuate Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. In light of the devastation, he has joined with his colleague Rene “Coach P” Plasencia and a bi-partisan group of lawmakers to form the “Florida to Puerto Rico Response Team,” a partnership between public and private sectors to assist in recovery efforts.

    FL2PRThe goal of the team will be to assist with infrastructure recovery efforts, coordinate logistics of disaster supplies, assist evacuees with issues of education, healthcare, etc, and create regional “service centers” using their district offices to provide assistance and information for those relocating.

    I encourage you to support FL2PR, first by “liking” their Facebook page and sharing it with your friends and then reaching out to your state representative to ask how you can help.

    Also, there is also a relief effort ”I-4 for Puerto Rico” being spearheaded by Orange County Trump Chairman Randy Ross in partnership with Americorps to deliver supplies to Puerto Rico. They have drop off locations in Orange and Seminole Counties. The Rollins Women’s Volleyball Team is helping with the drive and has provided information on how you can contribute.

    Our hearts definitely ache for those who will be suffering the effects for a long time to come. As Rep. Plascencia put it, “the island’s infrastructure is literally being rebuilt.” It is encouraging to see our state and region taking a leadership role in the long path to recovery.

    - Jesse P.

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    Inauguration 2017: Hope for Real Change


    This Friday, we will witness the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Unlike 2008, when President Obama rode into D.C. on promises of hope and change that he would fail to deliver, things are going to be different this time.

    The Orlando Sentinel published my op-ed on Trump’s Inauguration in yesterday’s paper. I wanted to make sure you saw it. You can click to read it here.

    Here are a few excerpts:

    “The inauguration of Donald Trump as our 45th president marks a new chapter in American history, in which President Trump will do what the 44 men before him did — transition from campaigning to governing. And there is reason for optimism as this chapter is turned.”

    “Our hope for change does not lie in the naive belief that [as Obama said] ’there is not a liberal America and conservative America.’ Of course there is. The difference is conservative ideas actually work and improve the lives of everyone, liberals included.”

    “The election of 2008 was historic. If the Democrats had delivered on candidate Obama’s promises, Hillary Clinton would likely be president today. The difference this time around is we care enough about these problems to do something about it. And with Trump’s inauguration, we have at least two years to get it done.”

    This is going to be an exciting year. Let’s not get complacent in our victory as we keep working to make the coming years much better than the last eight.

    - Jesse P.

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    RPOF Annual Meeting Report

    I am happy to announce that the Annual Meeting of the Republican Party of Florida has concluded, and our journey to 2018 is underway! As your State Committeeman, here were some of the highlights of the weekend:

    First, I was happy to support Susie Dolan as the Caucus Chair for Congressional District 7. She will also serve on the Executive Board of the RPOF. I also supported Kathryn Townsend as the alternate chair. My two colleagues will help lead the charge in making Stephanie Murphy a one-term member of congress.

    Second, our chairman Blaise Ingoglia was re-elected to a second term. I did publicly support him because I felt that since he had helped deliver Florida’s 29 electoral votes to Donald Trump, he should be evaluated based on that success. Most of my colleagues agreed, and he was re-elected.

    Third, we have officially chartered a new Republican club! I have been working with Matt McMillan on this, and on Friday, with the support of our Chair and State Committeewoman (and, of course, Yours Truly), we submitted the papers to make it official. The goal of the club will be to reach out to new voters and support our existing clubs and committee through voter outreach. You will hear much more about it in the future, but it was exciting to take the first step this weekend.

    Fourth, you will be hearing much more over the next few years about the “Drive for Five.” Our National State Committeeman Peter Feaman noted that we have a historic moment in 2018 when all five of our state cabinet offices will be up for election without any incumbents. Our goal is a clean Republican sweep, a “Drive for Five.”

    Finally, although we have recently emerged from a very competitive election season with many hard-fought battles both with Democrats and within our own party, there was a tangible sense of unity throughout the weekend. It was wonderful to see Committeewoman Susie Dolan and Chairwoman Kathryn Towsend working together, despite being former opponents. While the media loves to run with sensational click-bait headlines about division and controversy (especially when it comes to Republicans), we are taking the first steps of moving forward in unity.

    Winning is contagious, isn’t it? Let’s build on our successes and, in the words of Chairman Ingoglia, turn our Super Bowl winning team into a dynasty!

    – Jesse P.

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    Praying for Sgt. Clayton and Dep. Lewis


    Like you, I was shocked and saddened to hear today about the shooting of Sgt. Debra Clayton, and the death of Dep. Norman Lewis. The men and women who put on the uniform to defend our community routinely face untold dangers, and today two heroes were taken far too soon.

    Please join me in praying for their friends, families and everyone who serves in the line of duty in ways that we too often take for granted. May the families find comfort in their grief and may the shooter be found and brought to justice.

    - Jesse Phillips