Broward News

Jim Greer Resigning as Republican Party Chair

In a Florida Republican Party in which Charlie Crist is a mere mortal, there can be no saving his handpicked party chair, Jim Greer. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that Greer will resign his leadership post in advance of a party meeting on Saturday in Orlando, where he was likely to be ousted by party officials.

The new party leader: Sen. James Thrasher, of St. Augustine. As the St. Pete Times points out, Thrasher is close to former Gov. Jeb Bush. In November, Juice quoted a source also close to Bush who gave a candid description of how the former governor's loyalists were disgusted by Crist's centrist political maneuvers, his ethics, and his lack of gratitude for Bush's help in catapulting Crist into office.

But it wasn't till last week that we saw how deeply this mutiny had spread into Crist's inner circle.

The signature of Mel Sembler on a letter demanding Greer's resignation was perhaps the most ominous sign -- and not just of Greer's doom. It suggested that one of Crist's most cherished family friends, one of his closest, most generous donors, was abandoning him. Sembler is the former U.S. ambassador to Italy and is now a major developer in the Tampa-St. Pete area. His son Brent Sembler is one of Crist's boyhood friends -- they were fraternity brothers at Florida State, and Brent Sembler was the finance chairman of Crist's 2006 campaign.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Thomas Francis