When the elected Republican committeemen and committeewomen gather Monday night to pick a new Broward party chairman for the next two years, they’ll do so behind closed doors. As a result, the public won’t know if the contest is as messy as the one two years ago.
Richard DeNapoli, the current party chairmen, said the election of his successor won’t be open to anyone but the people who can vote for party leaders – and that means no news coverage of the event.
Recent Republican party elections have been open to news coverage, including DeNapoli’s – but that contest was particularly chaotic and involved lots of bad blood among local Republicans.
How messy was it? Here’s part of what I wrote that night:
The usually orderly and businesslike Republicans were as contentious as their Democratic counterparts when they gathered Monday to elect their new chairman.
The election required two ballots. DeNapoli won 129 votes. Former Davie Mayor Tom Truex won 125 votes.
The first round of voting, which ended without a winner, ended at about 9 p.m. – two hours after the party election meeting started.
Before the second round of voting, the gathering of some 300 Republicans – most of whom were committeemen and committeewomen eligible to vote for party officers – the gathering was reduced to squabbling over the number of ballots cast and the number of eligible voters.
One woman shouted from the audience, sarcastically wondering if the liberal activist group ACORN – which is despised by Republicans – was involved in the party’s internal voting.
Before that, the four candidates for chairman called for goodwill toward fellow Republicans and unity.
Candidates for the chairmanship Monday night are Karen Harrington, a Davie restaurateur who twice lost bids for Congress at the hands of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston and Rico Petrocelli, a former Plantation councilman and current executive director of the county party.
DeNapoli hired Petrocelli as the party staffer and supports his candidacy for party chairman.Copyright © 2015, CT Now