Members of the Broward Republican Party with ties to former State Sen. Steve Geller (D-Cooper City) and the controversial Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-Miramar) appear to be the driving forces behind the candidacy of 23 year old musician Lauren C. Cooley. Even though Cooley has only been a member of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC) for a handful of months, she has the backing of Mike Rump, president of the Republican Business Network (RBN), his wife Dolly Rump, Karin Hoffman and lobbyist Ryan Reiter. Both Rump and Hoffman had failed bids to lead BREC.
Today, Rump sent an email claiming “BREC Chair Candidates Smacked With ‘Good Ol Boy Politics’ & Unfair Election.” Oddly enough, Rump touts Eugene “Gene” Robinson’s endorsement of Cooley. REDBROWARD reports exposing Robinson’s improper fundraising activities culminated in his quitting the race on Friday.
Rump claims Cooley won an exit poll at Wednesday’s debate hosted by the RBN. Several attendees claim no more than 30 people attended the debate in Coral Springs.
Rump complains that Cooley does not have access to the BREC membership list. This complaint is a common refrain of losing BREC candidates.
The unintentionally hilarious part of email is claims that a “good Ol boy” network is backing Cooley’s opponents.
Rump is well acquainted with one of Broward’s top good Ol boys, Steve Geller. Rump is president of the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjustors (FAPIA). Geller is the lobbyist for FAPIA. Rump’s Facebook page is filled with pictures with Geller. Some wonder if Rump will support Republican Chuck Lanza’s bid for the Broward County Commission District 5 seat. Lanza is running against Steve Geller.
Yesterday, Dolly Rump claimed Acting Chairman Robert Sutton had “threatened” Cooley if she didn’t withdraw from the race. Sutton vehemently denied it. In a conversation with REDBROWARD, Cooley said there was no threat whatsoever.
Another behind the scenes backer of Cooley’s campaign is Ryan Reiter. Now a lobbyist, Reiter spent the last two years pushing the Children’s Services Council on Broward taxpayers. The group, a favorite of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, will continue to collect tax dollars and send them to groups such as Hispanic Unity, a local affiliate of La Raza.
In a recent newspaper article, Reiter said his mentor is Judge Ari Porth, a former Democrat legislator. Also, even though he leads the local Young Republican club, Reiter is chummy with Congressman Alcee Hastings and other local Democrats. In fact, Reiter was the longtime roommate of Coral Springs Commissioner Dan Daley. He recently left the GOP to join the Democrat party.
Both Rump can been seen on Facebook promoting Cooley’s campaign.
Reiter and Hoffman are members of Jeb Bush’s Broward campaign team.
Next: What will IRS say if Lauren Cooley wins BREC election?
Update: earlier version stated Rump was a supporter of Jeb Bush. Mrs. Rump says they do not like Jeb Bush. We regret the error.