RPOF spokesman leaves, avoids Trump campaign

The candidacy of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has helped cost the Florida GOP its chief spokesman. Wadi Gaitan, the communications director for the Republican Party of Florida, said Monday he is leaving the state organization to join the LIBRE Initiative, a group funded by the billionaire Koch brothers that reaches out to Hispanic voters.

“I’m thankful for my almost two years with the Florida GOP, however, moving on gives me a great, new opportunity to continue promoting free market solutions while avoiding efforts that support Donald Trump,” Gaitan said in a statement explaining the change.

The departure comes as Trump, who has proposed building a large border wall as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration, struggles to appeal to Latinos in Florida and beyond. Gaitan, whose parents are from Honduras, was hired by the party in 2015 after state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia of Spring Hill won a divisive battle for GOP chairman that opened a rift between the state party and Gov. Rick Scott.

Gaitan was communications director for the successful 2014 congressional campaign of Carlos Curbelo, a South Florida Republican who is one of Trump’s most outspoken critics in the party. Before being hired by the state party, he was press secretary for the GOP conference in the U.S. House. Gaitan’s last day at the Florida party is Tuesday.

source: The News Service of Florida