The Broward Republican Executive Committee chose Rico Petrocelli, who had served as the paid executive director, to serve as chairman Monday night. Petrocelli had recently floated the possibility of making the chair position paid but he has ditched that idea.
"None of the [Broward] chairman have gotten paid," said the former Planation city council member in an interview Thursday. "I am not getting paid."
Petrocelli said he has no immediate plans to hire a new executive director. He says his goals for 2013 include outreach to minorities and young voters, growing clubs and assisting local candidates. He faces the challenge of energizing GOP activists in an overwhelmingly Democratic county after an election in which Republicans suffered notable local losses including Sheriff Al Lamberti who was ousted by Democrat Scott Israel.
Petrocelli ended up without a challenge after Karen Harrington, who lost two landslide races in a row to U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Weston), pulled out. BREC banned the media from the internal election -- two years ago a close divisive chair contest featured some shouting from the floor. The group will also continue the policy of not allowing the media or others to videotape the meetings (sometimes BREC posts their own videos of a portion of the meeting -- and so do candidates.)
Petrocelli replaces Richard DeNapoli who decided not to run again due to job opportunities outside of Broward.