Broward Republican chairman quits

Rico Petrocelli

Less than 12 weeks after winning a hard-fought battle to become Broward Republican Chairman, Rico Petrocelli quit on Tuesday.

In a brief letter to Republican activists, Petrocelli said it was apparent that he and the county Republican Party’s board “have irreconcilable differences.”

Petrocelli didn’t spell out the difficulties but said resignation was the best option for the party. “In the best interest of the Republican Party of Broward County, aka BREC, I hereby resign as Chairman effective immediately.”

BREC stands for Broward Republican Executive Committee.

Petrocelli said he would continue as a Republican committeeman from Plantation. “I will continue to help elect Republicans. God bless the BREC and God Bless all of you,” he concluded.

Petrocelli couldn’t be reached for comment to amplify on his letter. He wrote that party rules require an election to fill the vacancy must be held within 60 days. The new chairman will be chosen by Broward’s Republican committeemen and committeewomen.

He was elected chairman in December by a unanimous vote after much of the party establishment, including the previous outgoing chairman, Richard DeNapoli, pushed hard for Petrocelli. In the face of his strong support, the only other candidate in the race, failed congressional hopeful Karen Harrington, dropped out just before the election.

Wednesday afternoon, a day after Petrocelli announced his resignation, the party issued a press release.

Here's what arrived at 1:19 p.m.:

Broward Republican Executive Committee (“BREC”) announces the resignation of its Chairman Rico Petrocelli.  In a surprising action, Mr. Petrocelli voluntarily tendered his resignation on February 19, 2013, effective immediately. Mr. Petrocelli cited his reason for resigning as undefined “irreconcilable differences “ with the Executive Board. 

 

Going forward, Vice Chairman Christine A. Butler has assumed responsibility as acting Chairman until a new Chairman is elected.  In the interim, Ms. Butler expresses confidence in the Executive Board’s commitment in advancing the BREC’s mission and programs.

 

The Executive Committee’s Board will announce an election of a new Chairman in accordance with the rules of the Republican Party of Florida.  All business and programs of BREC are expected to continue during an orderly transition in leadership.

 

Vice Chairman Christine A. Butler, a practicing attorney in Broward, was elected as Vice Chairman of BREC in December 2012, and has served as a Precinct Committeewoman in Davie, Florida  since 2010.