Hundreds gather at first-ever Republican Unity Picnic


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From Key West to Naples and from all across Miami-Dade County, nearly 600 Floridians recently came out to attend what was billed as a traditional “Sunday picnic in the park” for like-minded Republican voters

South Florida’s first-ever Republican Unity Picnic – a family-friendly event at Tropical Park, Feb. 23 – primarily served as a traditional political rally for Republican candidates running for local, state, and national seats. The event also featured a mini midway for kids, live DJ music, and plenty of hots-and-hamburgs, upon an all-American backdrop teeming with flags, political banners, posters, and people decked out in red, white, and blue.

“The outpouring of interest in this one-of-a-kind community event was truly something to behold,” said event host Maricel Cobitz, president of the North Dade Chapter of Federated Republican Women (FRW).

The event gave voters a chance to meet elected officials and Republican candidates face-to-face and learn about their views in advance of the campaign season. Candidates also used the picnic to educate voters on issues and candidates, and to recruit valuable volunteer assistance.

According to Cobitz, well over 100 picnic-goers signed up to serve as volunteers in canvassing and other election-related activities in support of the Republican Party – and in particular, to support the 2020 re-election campaign for President Trump.

FRW of North Dade is a group chartered under the National Federation and Florida Federation of Republican Women. As a 2019 recipient of the coveted National Diamond Award for Excellence, the chapter was also recognized as Florida’s Best Chapter Award for its outstanding performance in recruitment of members and hosting educational events. The club’s leaders also were recently invited to the White House in gratitude of their efforts.

“We were so pleased to be able to host this event for local people to enjoy an afternoon with friends and neighbors, and to feel proud to be a part of the GOP – which is leading our state and nation,” Cobitz added.

The event received coverage from several local media outlets including WLRN, NBC 6, Telemundo 51, FIU’s South Florida Media Network, America First TV, and WWFE “La Poderosa” 670 AM Latin Radio.

As a political organization organized under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, FRWND facilitates cooperation among Republican Women’s Clubs in the State of Florida, serves to foster loyalty to the Republican Party and to promote its principles and candidates in all elections including non-partisan elections, and supports the objectives and policies of the (NFRW), the Republican National Committee (RNC), the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), and to work for the election of the Republican Party’s nominees.

Learn how to become a member of FRW of North Dade at or call 786-265-9990.

[ MARIE: could this be presented as a sidebar box? ]

Political Candidates at Republican Unity Picnic

• Carla Spalding, U.S. Representative-Dist. 23
• Irina Vilarino, U.S. Representative-Dist. 26
• Omar Blanco, U.S. Representative-Dist. 26
• Raymond Molina, U.S. Representative-Dist. 27
• Enrique Tarrio, U.S Representative-Dist. 27
• Thomas Fabricio, State Representative-Dist. 103
• Nelson Rodriguez, State Representative-Dist. 103
• Pedro Barrios, State Representative-Dist. 105
• Bibiana Potestad, State Representative-Dist. 105
• Rhonda Rebman-Lopez, State Representative-Dist. 120
• Steve Bovo, County Commissioner – and candidate for Miami-Dade County Mayor

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