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Donald Trump Coming To Sarasota For GOP Award

Donald Trump will receive the Sarasota GOP "Statesman of the Year" Award.

The Don is coming to SRQ.

Real estate mogul/political commentator/reality TV show host Donald Trump will receive the Republian Party of Sarasota County's Statesman of the Year award on Aug. 26, according to the Sarasota GOP website.

The award is given each year by the local club and also serves as a fundraiser.

"As a conservative and a champion of free enterprise, Donald Trump is a keynote leader in this country who commands attention and serious consideration from people of all partisan persuasions," Sarasota GOP Chairman Joe Gruters wrote in a statement. "He does not shy away from controversy and is courageous in promoting the fundamental principles that conservatives endorse and strive to achieve."

Gruters also told Talking Points Memo blog why Trump is deserving of the award:

“He’s a sage, skillful and respected leader” who is doing “all he can to take our country back,” Sarasota GOP Chair Joe Gruters told TPM. “At the end of the day, he’s one of the few people in the country who can command respect from people of all walks of life.”

The event will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 26 at the . Tickets range from $150 to $1,000. The $1,000 ticket includes a private meet and greet with Trump, a photo with him, VIP reception and dinner.

The 2011 recipient was Mississippi Gov. Hayley Barbour, and also had former presidential candidate Herman Cain appear,

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Trump released a statement about the award, MSNBC.com reports:

Trump spokesman Michael Cohen says Trump is "honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award."

It's unclear how much of a fan Trump is of Romney, but Cohen also told MSNBC that he expects Trump to attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa the following week:

"It would seem obvious that Donald Trump will play a role in the Tampa convention, as his massive popularity, reflected in this recent award, shows what an asset he would be in making the convention into an even greater success."

Trump's participation in the birther movment has even sparked criticism within the Republican party, but it's a non-factor for Gruters, he told Talking Points Memo:

No matter. Gruters said he is “proud” to give Trump the award. No one issue led to Trump getting the prize, he said, adding that the birther matter is “irrelevant.”

Will you buy tickets to see or meet Donald Trump in Sarasota? Tell us in the comments.

Updated 1 p.m. with quote from Joe Gruters.

beth colvin July 09, 2012 at 11:27 AM
Charles Schelle I find it remarkable that you would take this coming event as an opportunity to re-hash something that happened last year before you were the editor which was a non-issue. It is once again a concocted incident to use your position revealing prejudice.just as the "invitation" for protestors to join others at the Ken Thompson bridge to pink slip Governor Scott a couple of weeks ago.
Jerry July 09, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Donald Trump is a self serving joke. Has he made a lot of money in his life? Yes. Is he a statesman? As much as any other wealthy comedian on television. Sarasota GOP should be ashamed of itself. I am sure there are many deserving candidates. This man is not one of them.
Bill July 09, 2012 at 12:55 PM
A sad commentary on our 2-party system when one of our major political parties can go out of its way to honor an out-of-touch blowhard. The "honor" may be Trump's, the dishonor is the Sarasota GOP's.
James Lee July 09, 2012 at 12:58 PM
I cannot believe that Trump would come to Sarasota to get any kind of an award; what a ego he has; he's such a joke! Every time he opens his mouth he's embarrassing. Also, I cannot believe any person or group in Sarasota would even give him one; what's their problem?
RAJ (Bo) McMerritt July 09, 2012 at 01:06 PM
the jelly-ous ones come out for The Don.
Charles Schelle (Editor) July 09, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Beth, if you go back and read the story from last year, the story talks about how the controversy was started because a blogger took it out of context and then The Miami Herald picked that blog up and created the firestorm. My story had actually set the record straight on the situation and provided fairness for Sen. Detert because I gave her the first opportunity to explain what really happened. The Miami Herald did not ask her about the situation when it posted the entry.
paul yungst July 09, 2012 at 02:30 PM
This is a joke, right? Did anyone from the RPOS selection committee bother to look up the definition of "statesman"? 1: one versed in the principles or art of government; especially : one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government or in shaping its policies 2: a wise, skillful, and respected political leader Maybe an honor such as Businessman of the Year bestowed upon Trump by the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce would be more appropriate. After all, Trump is a skillful businessman, who declared corporate bankruptcy on four separate occasions and still managed to amass a personal fortune. Even Entertainer of the Year award granted by the Sarasota Film Society could be justified, although audience numbers and TV rankings for "The Apprentice" have steadily declined since its debut in 2004. Trump may know how to run a beauty contest, but he certainly is no statesman. Enough about "The Donald," let's not lose site of where to place the blame for this ridiculous selection. Either there were slim pickings from the Republican field of candidates and Hillary wasn't available or the RPOS selection committee just screwed up. I think the answer lies behind door #1 and 2. Not much we can do about the Republican field, as for the members of the RPOS selection committee, "you're fired."
Mme. d'Estape July 09, 2012 at 03:16 PM
This is cleverer than the Donald (by infinite orders of magnitude), and it's free: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8TwRmX6zs4
dee July 09, 2012 at 04:05 PM
The joke is on Sarasota. Apparently the committee does not feel worthy of itself that it does not have to stoop to such low levels. I guess negative publicity is better than no publicity. Most often it is not so much the intelligence of the recipient, but the lack of intelligence and dignity of those who makes such a decision. And course the big question is how many dumb BOZOS will attend and worship the biggest BOZO. In addition, to add insult to injury, the amount of money it takes to get into the circus to see this clown. My recommendation is that the event should be held at Ringling Brothers which would be apropos.
Jerry July 09, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I think you should be receiving the Honor, you have made more sense than the D.T. and the Committee, but the Donald needs his ego thumped again. It seems the GOP is a little short on talent this year
Alice Sample July 09, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Alice .... Ringling would be the perfect place for this modern day PT Barnum to hold court. I would challenge this statement from the local Republican party ..... “At the end of the day, he’s one of the few people in the country who can command respect from people of all walks of life.” What makes you think that Donald Trump, who is no stranger to the bankruptcy courts and who has resurrected his fame and fortune thru casinos and reality TV, holds the respect of a broad base of Americans?? Any respect he has is that of an audacious showman who understands the manipulative art of perception. He is a self-interested blowhard........the opposite of a statesman. This decision says a lot about the Republican party in Sarasota..... It sadly seems to be aligned with the wing nut branch a party that used to know the difference between a statesman and a showman.
Sam Lock July 10, 2012 at 06:29 PM
BREAKING NEWS::::: Rick Perry Governor of Texas has been chosen to be the newest member of MENSA. Initial reports from the governor was “I don't rightly know how you catch a Mensa but I am a real good fisherman and hunter too, PERRY 2015 Woo WHooo,,,; or whatever.”
Steve Ronis August 26, 2012 at 03:15 PM
COULD BE A BAD HAIR DAY FOR THE DONALD . IT MIGHT BE A RAPUNZEL MOMENT. IT GIVES A WHOLE NEW MEANING TO " LETTING YOUR HAIR DOWN ! "
alan lenowitz August 26, 2012 at 04:09 PM
This guy is the definition of an ignorant blowhard...and those who pay to hear his crap must also be morons. His egotistical sons think it is fine to take Daddy's money and fly to Africa to kill innocent elephants....and then cut off their tails as a souvenir. This family is a disgrace...and the Sarasota GOP is equally disgaceful for honoring such a pathetic excuse for a human being!

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