TALLAHASSEE – Exactly who is going to be Florida House Speaker in 2020 is probably the last thing on the minds of Central Floridians. But the subject is paramount among top Republicans all over Florida as allegations of “treason,” strong-arm tactics and a “House of Cards” mentality emerged Sunday, revealing a contentious fight over the future leadership of the House.
The Orlando Sentinel obtained an email sent by Orange County Republican Chairman Lew Oliver to members of the Republican Party of Florida executive committee early Sunday. The email surmises that RPOF chairman Blaise Ingoglia is being used as an “involuntary pawn” to press three Central Florida Republican House members into changing their allegiance in the race to be House Speaker in 2020.
Ingoglia won the RPOF chair in January over Leslie Dougher, Gov. Rick Scott’s preferred pick. That was two months after he won a Tampa-area House seat. Those dual roles as party chairman and elected representative are the source of the controversy.