VERO BEACH — Former Vero Beach Mayor Jay Kramer is on the Aug. 14 ballot for Republican State Committeeman, signaling he may be turning his attention to Tallahassee – and away from Vero Beach.
Kramer is running against Vincent Celano of Vero Beach, the Indian River County Republican Party’s membership chairman, for the post being vacated by Karl Zimmermann, who has served for the past 10 years.
The qualifying deadline for Vero Beach City Council falls about three weeks after the primary, so if Kramer prevails, he’ll need to decide whether he wants to remain on the council.
“I’m only going to run if I have to,” Kramer said. “If there are three good people running, then I won’t need to.”
With regard to the state Republican post, Kramer said he and wife, Alla, were looking forward to meeting people from around the state as they traveled to the various meetings and social events hosted by the party.
During his one-year term as Vero Beach mayor, Kramer said he enjoyed and gained valuable knowledge from participating in the Florida League of Cities’ mayors’ gatherings and exchanging ideas with peers from all over Florida.
State committeeman would presumably be a similar learning and networking opportunity.
Zimmermann, however, said the state committeeman office is far from a glamorous or even a powerful job.
“You sit on the state committee and serve as a conduit of information from the local party back to Republican Executive Committee and essentially to assist the chairman,” Zimmermann said. “There is no compensation. You get to pay all your expenses when you travel.”
Both the Democrats and the Republicans have a state committeeman and a state committeewoman from each county.
The Republican State Committeewoman is Elly Manov, who was unopposed for re-election.
It’s well-known in Republican circles that Manov has mentored Kramer and encouraged him to seek the post.