Broward County Republicans put Rico Petrocelli in the top leadership position Monday night with a unanimous vote of support.
The new chairman of the Broward County Republican Executive Committee will replace Richard DeNapoli, who announced last month he would follow a career opportunity in another part of the state. DeNapoli endorsed Petrocelli and a slate of three other candidates for board positions. They were all voted in by the REC members. In part of his written endorsement, DeNapoli said:
Many of our members do not realize what goes into running the Broward GOP. From setting up our monthly meetings, booking the hotel, coordinating speakers, maintaining our headquarters, making sure various bills are paid, advertising the party events, meeting with candidates, sending out emails, speaking with our almost 400 members on a regular basis … Rico has the skills, talent and experience to keep our party running smoothly from day one.
We couldn’t have had our fundraising successes over the last two years without Rico Petrocelli.
A former Plantation city councilman, DeNapoli hired Petrocelli in 2010 as the county REC’s executive director, and according to the more than 250 Broward Republicans who supported his election as chairman, he has done a good job.
Petrocelli expected to face challenger Karen Harrington, the former congressional candidate who announced her intention to run for county party chairwoman just after DeNapoli announced he wasn’t running for another term.
Harrington sent an email quitting the race just hours before Monday’s meeting, creating a stir in her absence. Read her email and the reaction to it at Karen Harrington embarrasses herself with another classless move.
See BPR’s exclusive interviews with the incoming and outgoing chairmen.
Former Chairman Richard DeNapoli
Fellow Broward Republican Executive Committee Members and Friends:
Here’s wishing you, along with your families, friends and all of the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces, a very Happy Thanksgiving. I am very thankful to have worked together with a wonderful Broward Republican Executive Board, including our RNC Co-Chair, National Committeewoman, and State Committeewoman Sharon Day, our State Committeeman Ed Kennedy, our Vice-Chair Colleen Stolberg, our Secretary Michael De Gruccio, our Treasurer Mark McCarthy and our Executive Director Rico Petrocelli. As the Chairman of the largest Executive Committee in the great State of Florida with about 400 members, I am truly thankful and blessed for all of the hard work that our committeemembers and friends are putting forth to get Republicans elected!
I’d also like to share with you below Ronald Reagan’s first Thanksgiving Proclamation from 1981.
Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving,
Richard DeNapoli, Chairman
Broward Republican Party
RONALD REAGAN’S FIRST THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION
NOVEMBER 12, 1981
America has much for which to be thankful. The unequaled freedom enjoyed by our citizens has provided a harvest of plenty to this nation throughout its history. In keeping with America’s heritage, one day each year is set aside for giving thanks to God for all of His blessings. On this day of Thanksgiving, it is appropriate that we recall the first Thanksgiving, celebrated in the autumn of 1621. After surviving a bitter winter, the Pilgrims planted and harvested a bountiful crop. After the harvest they gathered their families together and joined in celebration and prayer with the Native Americans who had taught them so much. Clearly our forefathers were thankful not only for the material well being of their harvest but for this abundance of goodwill as well.
In this spirit, Thanksgiving has become a day when Americans extend a helping hand to the less fortunate. Long before there was a government welfare program, this spirit of voluntary giving was ingrained in the American character. Americans have always understood that, truly, one must give in order to receive. This should be a day of giving as well as a day of thanks. As we celebrate Thanksgiving in 1981, we should reflect on the full meaning of this day as we enjoy the fellowship that is so much a part of the holiday festivities. Searching our hearts, we should ask what we can do as individuals to demonstrate our gratitude to God for all He has done. Such reflection can only add to the significance of this precious day of remembrance.
Let us recommit ourselves to that devotion to God and family that has played such an important role in making this a great Nation, and which will be needed as a source of strength if we are to remain a great people. Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 26, 1981, as Thanksgiving Day. In witness whereof, I have here unto set my hand this twelfth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.
Date: November 12, 1981
By: Ronald Reagan
|Political advertisement paid for and approved by the Broward Republican Executive Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
Original Email Date: November 21, 2012
Fellow Broward Republicans,
First, thank you once again from the bottom of my heart for all of the hard work and sacrifice that each of you made in this 2012 election cycle. I have been incredibly humbled and honored to serve as your Chairman for these past two years. It has been a labor of love, and we have all spent countless hours helping our Republican candidates. I want to say thank you to all of you that have asked me to run for reelection, but I have decided to accept a career opportunity in another part of the state and will not be a candidate for reelection at the December organizational meeting. This opportunity just came up and it’s the best move for my career and my family. Colleen will also not seek reelection and has decided to spend more time with her husband and family.
So many of us worked so hard spending countless hours to help elect our Republican candidates, and that’s what made the recent results even harder to bear. We participated in one of the largest GOP efforts in Broward history – Volunteers logged hundreds of thousands of calls, knocked on tens of thousands of doors, and we helped all of our candidates by handing out over 85,000 palm cards and mailing over 90,000 GOTV mailers. Though nationally Republicans were overwhelmed by the Obama wave, thanks to your hard work, Mitt Romney got more votes in Broward than John McCain in 2008, even with a changing electorate.
This year’s elections were not a defeat of our core Republican principles. If Republicans nationally can articulate an optimistic vision for our country’s future that appeals to people across all walks of life, we will see future successes at the polls. As our RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry said in his recent Sun-Sentinel article, “…optimism is the fundamental principle of conservatism. We believe in the potential for greatness in the American individual….This nation is a foundation, and upon it any person – no matter their race or gender – can build a life filled with opportunity. At our core as Republicans we have ideas that are good for ALL Americans, and now we must work to ensure people hear this loud and clear.” I am very optimistic about the future of the Republican Party nationally and in Broward county.
When Colleen Stolberg and I ran for Chair and Vice-Chair two years ago, we issued an Eight Point Platform for the Almost Eight Hundred Precincts in Broward County. In our recent email, we detailed the Platform and how the promises we made were the promises we kept (which I have pasted below). I hope that whoever comes forward to run for the officer positions of the Republican Party of Broward will continue these successes and improve upon them with new ideas.
Together, we have all built the largest REC in the state of Florida with blockbuster attendance and the foundation for a continued strong Republican Party in Broward. We saw tremendous fundraising successes over the last two years, raising over $385,000 of revenue for the party through regular events and fundraising appeals. We added about 200 new members to the REC. We instituted a solid internet presence and new clubs and committees were created.
The BREC needs to continue its fundraising successes, attract new members, improve our technology and establish an improved GOTV Program. Obama organizers had been deeply embedded in Broward for years before the 2012 election, focusing their persuasion efforts on person-to-person contact. Our Precinct Letter Project helped our members establish more personal contact with Republicans in their neighborhoods. Broward Republicans need to start campaigning for 2014 today.
Despite how much we suffered in redistricting and the Obama wave this November 6th, there were some local Broward bright spots. Despite the national Democrat surge, State Representative George Moraitis won reelection by 10 points in a district that went from having a 7.5% Republican registration advantage to only a 1.1% Republican advantage after redistricting. Donna Korn won election to the Broward School Board in the countywide seat against the former Democratic Minority Leader of the Florida House – an amazing feat in Broward County! In August, Katie Leach also won election to the School Board, becoming the first Republican to win a school board seat in Broward since the year 2000. Vincent Boccard was elected Mayor of Coral Springs, and Dan Daley is a new Coral Springs City Commissioner. Patty Asseff won reelection to the Hollywood City Commission. Jeff Nelson was reelected in Southwest Ranches and Jeff Green was reelected in Cooper City. Congressman Mario Diaz Balart will also continue to represent a portion of Broward County. Senator Bogdanoff won the Broward portion of her Broward/Palm Beach District, and Adam Hasner performed better in the Broward portion of his district than the Palm Beach portion. We must thank Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff, Adam Hasner, Sheriff Lamberti and Congressman West for their service to Broward’s residents.
Broward needs to reelect State Representative George Moraitis and County Commissioner LaMarca, as well as our statewide elected officials: Governor Scott, Attorney General Bondi, CFO Atwater and Commissioner of Agriculture Putnam. They will all be targeted by the Democrats. The BREC needs to continue to support our Republican nominees in other races and in local off-year elections. We did this in 2011 and 2012, and we need to continue to support our local candidates.
I must thank Rico Petrocelli, our Executive Director, for all of the hard work that he has put into his role. Special thanks also to our wonderful Executive Board. There is no way that we could have accomplished what we did without them. Our Vice-Chair Colleen Stolberg diligently worked to recruit new REC members and helped us become the largest REC in the State of Florida. Thanks to the efforts of our Treasurer Mark McCarthy, we were able to remove thousands of deceased voters from the rolls and establish a Federal Campaign Account that allowed us to purchase all of those Romney/Ryan signs and bumper stickers. Our Secretary Michael De Gruccio served as the Lincoln Day Chair and major fundraiser for 2011 and 2012 and worked day and night at the Pompano HQ coordinating our Get Out The Vote and Poll Watching/Poll Campaigning efforts. RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day campaigned tirelessly all over the country inspiring crowds and working to get our Republican candidates elected. State Committeeman Ed Kennedy has been a wonderful resource to the Board and campaigns.
Lastly, I could not have made the commitment I did without the support of my wife – the love of my life. She spent many an evening alone, most recently with our newborn son, while I was participating in our various functions and going to club meetings across the county. When I ran for Chairman two years ago, I was still dating Brigita. We got married in Italy in August 2011 and in August 2012 I became a proud father when Victor Alfred DeNapoli was born. Though it’s tough to leave Broward and my passion for politics, I know that there are good things ahead for myself and my family.Being the County Chairman or serving on the Board is not a glamorous position…it’s a public service position. Anyone who does this volunteer job quickly realizes that it’s a labor of love that requires time, patience, and constant dedication – oftentimes into the wee hours of the night. But it is well worth the effort. I am happy to count so many of you as my friends. The strength of our organization lies in its members. Our volunteers and members are the heart and soul of our Broward Republican Party, and without you, there would be no Broward Republican Party and no victories in any cycle.
Thank you once again for your sacrifice to our mutual cause, for your support of me as your Chairman, and for your friendship. I look forward to seeing you all very soon and my family and I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and a Joyous Holiday Season.
All the best,
Promises Made, Promises Kept
Dear Fellow Broward Republicans,
When Colleen Stolberg and I ran for Chair and Vice-Chair two years ago, we issued an Eight Point Platform for the Almost Eight Hundred Precincts in Broward County. Below, we detail the Platform and how the promises we made were the promises we kept.
All the Best,
Richard DeNapoli, Chairman
“1. GOP Unity. By focusing on our shared conservative values and what unites us rather than on what divides us, we can build a better organization. Together, we can accomplish anything.”
“2. Growing Our Membership through the “800 Club.” There are almost 800 precincts in Broward County. For the upcoming elections, we should try to fill these precincts with active Committemen and Committeewomen. Only through an active and large membership can we achieve our long-term goals of getting more Republicans elected.”
“3. Empowering our Members and Local Clubs. The Board of the BREC exists to serve its committee members, and servant leaders are what we aim to be as your Chair and Vice-Chair. We should also provide our committee members with the opportunity to make public comments at every meeting. We must strive to give each and every committee member and club the tools they need to succeed in organizing their precincts. The stronger our local clubs and organizations are, the stronger the Executive Committee will be. Our local club Presidents should meet regularly and elect a Chair of the Club Presidents on a yearly basis that sits on the dais with the rest of the Board and participates in Executive Board meetings. …”
“4. Fundraising. We need active fundraising throughout the year through regular Lincoln Day, Reagan Day, and other functions that will enable us to hire an Executive Director to run our operations and headquarters as well as to provide more resources for our members and candidates. As your Treasurer, Richard took it upon himself to focus on fundraising to keep our organization going through the November election. We need to remain diligent throughout the year so we always have enough money to achieve our goals.”
“5. Committees. There is a lot of talent among our Executive Committee members. We are all leaders of our own precincts. We need leaders for (a variety of) … committees…”
“6. Technology. As the county with the second largest number of registered Republicans in Florida, we need a website that is second to none. Campaigns have become increasingly focused on technology, and we need to keep up with these advances while remaining focused on the time-tested, effective grassroots techniques.”
“7. GOTV Training. It can be overwhelming when someone first gets involved in our organization. Through regular precinct training, we can help our members succeed.”
“8. Shared Celebrations. Recognizing the efforts of our local clubs, volunteers and members will promote more goodwill throughout our organization.”
Lastly, beyond the Eight Point Platform, we also accomplished the following as an organization:
While there may be good election cycles and bad election cycles, you can be assured that our promises made have been our promises kept. We will always work hard on behalf of our Republican candidates and the BREC.
All the best,
Richard DeNapoli & Colleen Stolberg
Original Email Dated: November 19, 2012, 7 AM
Political advertisement paid for and approved by the Broward Republican Executive Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
Email Original Send Date: November 2, 2012
Almost 500 Republicans attended the annual Lincoln Day Gala at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was the featured keynote speaker at the Broward Republican Party event. Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Congressman Allen West (FL-22), and Republican National Committee co-chair Sharon Day were among special guest speakers in attendance.
Party Secretary Michael De Gruccio returned as the 2012 event chairman.
“It was my honor to return as chairman of the 2012 Broward County Lincoln Day Gala,” said De Gruccio. “We had an amazing keynote speaker followed by special guest speakers that not only honored the legacy of President Abraham Lincoln but our Republican elected officials.”
Prior to the dinner, BREC Chairman Richard DeNapoli hosted a VIP Reception for nearly 200 that included the Florida Attorney General, the state Chief Financial Officer, a prominent Congressman, the Republican National Committee Co-Chairman, a number of local, state, and federal officials as well as candidates for public office.
“The VIP reception offered an opportunity to chat one-on-one with Attorney General Pam Bondi, the keynote speaker and special guests CFO Jeff Atwater Congressman Allen West, and RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day” said DeNapoli. “Guests also had an opportunity to speak with candidates running for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Florida House and Senate, as well as local Broward County offices.”
Returning as auctioneer from appearances at both the 2011 Broward Lincoln Day Gala and the inaugural Grand Old Party BBQ was Highlands County Commissioner Don Elwell. Standing tall above the crowd, Elwell successfully raised thousands of dollars for local Republicans through a live auction.
Attorney General Pam Bondi opened the evening as the featured keynote speaker with a feisty and dynamic speech on a variety of issues. Bondi, who had just returned from a trip to New York and the taping of a segment on Sean Hannity, donated a pink tie – autographed by Hannity – for the evening’s live auction.
Still excited from her recent argument before the U.S. Supreme Court on the constitutionality of Obamacare, Bondi recalled some of her experiences concerning the case.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater followed stating that “you have the state of Florida and our federal government taking two very different paths. In the great state of Florida where you have elected Rick Scott, where you have elected Pam Bondi, Adam Putnam, and a Republican legislature – this is what happens in a downturn. You get people that go to bat for you.”
“Things in Florida are completely different from the federal government. The federal government has raised your taxes, raised the debt, increased regulation. In the state of Florida the last three years has been the exact opposite – your taxes were reduced, regulation was reduced, and debt was reduced.”
Congressman Allen West fired up conservatives, telling Republicans to “find the enemy and fight them wherever they are.” Like American paratroopers before the D-day invasion, West said they “must be like sharks that smell blood in the water.”
The audience applauded and cheered throughout his 19 minute speech, as West appeared before Broward Republican’s for a final time.
West concluded with words from the farewell speech given by Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson when he was promoted by Robert E. Lee.
“He said to his brigade they would always be first in his heart,” said West. “Broward County will always be first in my heart, and I will never forget you,” he told the standing room only crowd.
Special guest and Republican National Committee co-Chair Sharon Day was also encouraged by the work of the Broward Republican Executive Committee and stated so in an interview following the event.
“It was great to see so many Broward Republicans together in such a Democratic stronghold. Taking back the White House and the Senate is the only way we can save America.”
“Lincoln Day was an overwhelming success,” former Plantation Councilman and BREC Executive Director Rico Petrocelli stated. “It was encouraging to see many new faces from throughout Broward.”
Over 500 Republicans Attend Broward Grand Old Party BBQAs featured in The Examiner BY: William Lewis
On a hot and sunny south Florida afternoon where the weather held out until shortly after the event ended, Chairman Richard DeNapoli lived up to a campaign promise and his Eight Point Platform for the Broward Republican Party in staging yet another successful fundraiser.
Over 500 Republicans attended the inaugural Grand Old Party BBQ at the famed Bergeron ranch in far western Broward County. Famed vocalist Lou Galterio met them with the National Anthem.
The “Country Afternoon” featured a keynote speaker in Congressman Allen West (FL-22), as well as Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Florida House Representatives Matt Hudson and George Moraitis, Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti, and Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca.
Returning to the Grand Old Party BBQ from his appearance as Emcee at the Republican Party of Broward County – 2011 Lincoln Day Dinner was Highlands County Commissioner Don Elwell. Standing tall above the crowd, Elwell held his Weiner jokes until the very end.
Making an appearance at the GOP barbecue was special guest Sharon Day, Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee. She cheerfully thanked everyone for their support of the Grand Old Party.
In the race for the Republican nomination to unseat Bill Nelson (D-FL) in the United States Senate were Florida’s 34th United States Senator George Lemieux, State Senate President Mike Haridopolos, former House Majority Leader Adam Hasner and retired Army Colonel Mike McCallister. Each spoke of the need to send Senator Nelson into retirement.
Former Davie Councilman and current mayoral candidate Mike Crowley was also in attendance.
Congressman West urged everyone in attendance to work hard so President Barack Obama could be sent “back to Chicago.” The freshman Congressman gathered over 400 petition signatures to place his name on the ballot in 2012.
State CFO Jeff Atwater advised the crowd that Tallahassee does not need any more of their money thanks to the budget prowess of the Florida Legislature and Governor Rick Scott.
As the lone Republican on a panel of nine, County Commissioner Chip LaMarca urged the crowd to send him some Republican help on the commission. LaMarca introduced Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti who is running for re-election in 2012.
A number of elected officials and candidates spoke with RED BROWARD, a conservative voice for the community. Congressman West spoke on several issues including Weinergate and colleague Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is now calling for Weiner to … resign his New York congressional seat.
Prior to the barbeque, a VIP event was held in Alligator Ron’s Saloon that included elected officials and candidates for public office. “It was great to see so many influential politicians captivate a crowd,” said Richard DeNapoli, Chairman of the Broward Republican Party.
“It was my honor to chair the Grand Old Party BBQ,” says Sally Musser. “We had an amazing venue in the Bergeron Ranch, great speakers and a program that honored our elected officials for their public service.”
The barbecue followed a successful Lincoln Day Dinner that raised over $90,000 for the Broward Republican Party. “The inaugural Grand Old Party barbeque was an overwhelming success,” says former Plantation Councilman and BREC Executive Director Rico Petrocelli. “We saw many new faces today and I look forward to welcoming them into our party.”
For more information on the barbecue and the Broward Republican Party, please visit:www.browardgop.org.
Original Email Date: February 1, 2011
RICO PETROCELLI IS THE NEW BREC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
BROWARD COUNTY – Former Plantation City Councilman and longtime BREC Member Rico Petrocelli will begin as the new BREC Executive Director on January 3, 2011. Mr. Petrocelli brings a unique background of experience in business, politics, and media to the position.
Mr. Petrocelli served on the Plantation City Council from 2005 through 2008, and was the Council’s President in 2008. He currently serves as a Commissioner on the Broward County Housing Authority, and was appointed to the Census Board by Plantation Councilman Jerry Fadgen – also a longtime BREC Member and current candidate for Plantation Mayor.