Republican Party of Florida leader to step down


St. Johns County Republican Party Chairman Harlan Mason reported to Historic City News that it is with profound sadness that he announces the resignation of Republican Party of Florida Chairman David Bitner effective September 23rd.

Bitner was elected chair in January; then announced in April that he had contracted the fatal disease ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“Chairman Bitner is facing some very serious health challenges that led him to this decision, which he took with great reluctance, in the best interests of the Party and his family,” Mason told Historic City News.

“David Bitner is the Chairman of the RPOF, and he is working every day to advance the mission of our party,” RPOF representative Brian Hughes told media sources. “He has courageously and publicly discussed his ALS diagnosis, and yet he works every day to make Florida better.”

Bitner has scheduled a special election to elect a new Party Chairman on September 23rd; which will occur at the next quarterly meeting. This meeting is being held in conjunction with the State Convention and P5 Straw poll.

“Our prayers go out to the Chairman, his wife and the entire Republican Party of Florida family as we work through this transition,” Mason said. “Please remember his leadership with the same dignity with which he offered it.”

St. Johns County’s state Committeewomen Becky Reichenberg said, “I believe I speak for all of us in wishing Dave and his family our prayers and heartfelt gratitude for his time served as our leader. May God Bless him during this most difficult time.”

Bitner has endorsed Vice Chairman Lenny Curry as the next Republican Party of Florida Chair and hopes that the State Committee will elect him in the special election.

Curry is the Chairman of the Duval Republican Party.

Florida Federation of Republican Women President, Cindy Graves, wrote in an e-mail to Historic City News yesterday upon Bitner’s announcement, “Lenny is my radio co-host on What’s the Buzz, and my friend. I will support him for Chairman and I know that he will be as enthusiastic in regard to our organization as Dave Bitner and John Thrasher were.”