When Broward GOP chair Rico Petrocelli fired off a letter Tuesday saying he was quitting due to "irreconcilable differences" with the board, vice chair Christine Butler said she was surprised and that he didn't discuss it with the board first.
"That is his characterization," she said. "I would not have said that. I didn't really feel that was an appropriate description. ... We are a new board. We have only had a couple of meetings."
Petrocelli quitting after such a short amount of time during a political off-season suggests general personality or management conflicts -- not tensions over supporting any particular candidate or tea party vs. moderate divisions.
Petrocelli was elected without opposition in December after failed Congressional candidate Karen Harrington dropped out. He has not elaborated on his reasons for quitting. Petrocelli has taken some hits in the press for a state ethics fine and a bankruptcy filing but both occurred before he sought the chair position.
Butler, a lawyer from Davie, will now serve as interim chair and said she may run for the post. The Broward Republican Executive Committee will hold an election within 60 days -- possibly at their next scheduled meeting March 18th. No word yet on whether they will allow the press inside to cover the event that could include airing some internal strife (the group allowed the press in 2010 but barred them in 2012.)