Trump Headlines CPAC In Orlando, Which Is Conservative Florida's Coming-Out Party

Former President Trump will mark his return to the political arena at the annual CPAC summit, but the four-day fest that kicked off Thursday in Orlando is a coming-out party for Florida's conservative leaders, too.

“The reason why Florida is the conservative hub of the universe at the moment is a lot of conservatives believe that the road back to power is highlighting Florida as a conservative model of government for the rest of the nation,” said Ford O’Connell, a Naples-based Republican strategist and former presidential campaign operative. “Given the fact that we are shut out of all three levels of the federal government, the one place Republicans are thriving is Florida.”

In fact, Florida is home to the former president, who will close out the conference Sunday afternoon. It is a major fundraising venue for Republican and conservative candidates from across the country. It boasts a Republican-dominated state government, two U.S. senators and a firebrand congressman with ambitions for higher office.

Still, it is no coincidence that CPAC, which stands for the Conservative Political Action Conference, chose Florida to host this year’s event after its traditional location outside Washington remained closed because of COVID-19 restrictions, O’Connell said.

Besides being Trump’s adopted home state, Florida is home to Trump’s heir apparent, DeSantis, O’Connell said.

“You have a governor who, probably, if Trump did not run for election in 2024, would likely be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination,” he said.

Read more from Antonio Fins and Wendy Rhodes at the Palm Beach Post

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published this page in In The News 2021-03-01 17:58:57 -0500
Analysis & Political Strategy