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New Broward Republican chairman sets very, very, very high goal

Sun Sentinel

Broward’s new Republican Party chairman set an extremely ambitious long-term goal Monday night: making Republicans the majority party in overwhelmingly Democratic Broward County.

“We are going to be a majority party in this county. That’s the goal,” Truex said at his first meeting of the county party since his election to its top job in March.

How ambitious is Truex’s goal? As of Monday, Broward has 589,289 Democrats, 255,917 Republicans, and 289,327 independent/no party affiliation voters and people registered in assorted third parties.

He didn’t offer a timetable, and conceded it wouldn’t happen overnight, but said there wasn’t any reason why it wouldn’t happen in the lifetimes of the county’s Republican committeemen and committeewomen.

Truex said his top priority for the county party is identifying candidates for local offices and getting them elected. He also wants Broward’s share of Republican votes to go up in statewide elections and get more Republicans elected.

“The bottom line is we’ve got to elect Republicans,” he said.

For that, and other goals, Truex acknowledged progress is almost guaranteed. “We know that as Republicans, to some extent we have nowhere to go but up.”

He said it’s obvious new approaches are needed. “We know that what Republicans did in this county, nationwide and statewide, we know that what Republicans did the last time didn’t yield the results we would like to see.”

Truex said the practices of yore, in which he said Republicans waited until a week or two before the election to decide how they’d help candidates are going out the window. “That’s not going to work. We are not going to settle for that any more.”

The party will help identify potential candidates, and those who have a good chance of winning will get help from the party. He plans to devote teams to tackle some of the party’s objectives. Besides candidate development, they’ll take on areas such as grassroots organizing and social media.

The county party is also going to support establishment of a countywide group for teenage Republicans.

Truex’ plans take money. He urged Republicans to buy the party’s Lincoln Day dinner on May 20, where Gov. Rick Scott will serve as the keynoter. Prices are $125 for committeemen and committeewomen, $150 for the public, $300 for a VIP reception plus dinner.

He also announced a big departure from the practices under Richard DeNapoli, who was chairman from December 2010 through December 2012. Under DeNapoli, parts of the party meetings were closed to the news media and video recording of speakers was banned.

Truex said meetings are now open events, with video recording allowed.

Broward Democratic Chairman Mitch Ceasar reacted with skepticism toward Truex's notion of becoming the county's top party. "I admire people with goals, no matter how distant and unattainable."

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