By Anthony Man
4:49 PM EST, February 27, 2013
A week after the resignation of Broward's Republican chairman, the first candidate seeking the job has come forward. Tom Truex, the former mayor of Davie, said Wednesday he’ll seek the party job.
“I think I’m the man for the job,” he said in a telephone interview. “I think the thing that the Broward Republican Executive Committee most desperately needs at this point is someone who can unify the local party and get everyone rowing in the same direction…. It’s going to be a huge undertaking for whoever is the next chairman. There is a lot to do.”
The chairman’s job is unpaid and the occupant is often the target of critics who come out of the woodwork seemingly immediately after a new leader is elected. Truex said he’s prepared for that.
“A lot of the places in this world where you can make an impact and where you’re needed are not always those places where you’re going to get a lot of thanks.”
Truex, 55, is a lawyer and served as Davie mayor from 2003 to 2009 after two years as a member of the Davie Town Council. He was defeated in 2009. He said he doesn’t intend to run again and wouldn’t use the party post as a stepping-stone.
He said he is well known among Republicans and has experience running large groups.
The party was divided in recent years under the leadership of former Chairman Richard DeNapoli. Truex said he wasn’t always thrilled with DeNapoli’s stewardship and said he “step[ped] back a little” during that time.”
DeNapoli was followed by Rico Petrocelli, who was elected chairman in December. Last week, Petrocelli resigned, citing divisions among the party’s leaders.
Truex said he could fairly be characterized as “pretty conservative” or as a “social conservative.” But, he said, Republicans don’t have to be in lock step with all the party’s beliefs as spelled out every four years in the national party platform.
“If you go along with most of what’s in it, you don’t have to be with it 100 percent,” he said.
“It really isn’t the job of BREC to define the platform or the policies of each individual candidate. That’s the job of the candidate to define who they are or to take whatever positions,” he said. “No Republican group is going to want to have GOP or ‘R’ beside the name of someone who absolutely agrees with nothing in the platform.”
BREC stands for the Broward Republican Executive Committee, the governing body of the local party. It’s made up of Republican committeemen and committeewomen throughout the county. They’ll elect a new chairman.
“In most cases, if you have a candidate – assuming that they’re an ethical person, they’re a moral person – if they agree with most of what’s in the Republican platform, they’re going to be a better candidate – I’m not saying more electable – they’re going to be a better public servant than someone who subscribes to most of what’s in the Democratic platform.”
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