City Commissioner Tells Why He Quit GOP: Trump!





Pembroke Pines Commissioner Ismael Monroig Jr., who is running his first campaign since his appointment to the City Commission, is an independent.

But voters may not know that Monroig was an activist in the Broward Republican Party organization not so long ago.

Monroig told his reason for leaving the GOP:  Donald Trump.

He quit because of differences with Trump’s policies.



Ismael Monroig


When Monroig ditched the GOP,  the party lost not only a voter, but a fervent activist, too:


  • Monroig was a Republican precinct committeeman until roughly 2016.
  • Monroig was also on the Board of Directors of the Southwest Broward Republican Organization.
  • Monroig proudly posted a picture on his Facebook page of a 2012 demonstration in Hollywood against President Barack Obama.
  • Monroig got a webpage shout-out roughly six years ago on the webpage of ultra-right Allen West, who was congressman at the time.


Monroig is included in a list of Republican activists and office holders on Allen West’s webpage. 


Here is Monroig’s complete comments on his party switch as texted to


Good morning, Buddy. Thanks for reaching out. Not sure I ever actually considered myself a well-known activist but I appreciate the sentiment. . Seriously, though, I left the party shortly after Donald Trump won the Florida primary.

I’ve asked myself many times if it’s my views or the party’s direction that changed. I’ve always been a supporter of efficient government, wise use of taxes, reducing the debt, finding commonsense approaches to problems and working with all parties to come up with solutions that help people. Frankly, Donald Trump does not embody any of those principals and the party seems to have followed suit.

I still have great friends in both major parties, but I believe that as an independent I can focus on working with all sides on solutions rather then getting caught up in partisan fights. Not sure if that answers your question, but it’s the reason I left.


Why is Monroig’s history important?

He is in the closing days of his first campaign since he took office on October 1, 2017. City commissioners appointed him to fill a vacant seat in District One.

The district,  in the southeast corner of Pembroke Pines, is one of the more Democratic areas in the county. There are 13,760 Democratic voters, but only 6,719 NPA’s (independents) and 3,609 Republicans.

In the district is Hollybrook condos. At the precinct in Hollybrook’s golf and tennis club, there are four Democrats to every Republican.

And the district contains  7,786 black voters, who are presumably largely Democrats.

City races are nominally nonpartisan. Party affliliation is not on the ballot.

But believes that voters appreciate knowing the background of candidates.

There are two other candidates for Commission District One: Thomas “Tom” Good and Ted Victor.


16 Responses to “City Commissioner Tells Why He Quit GOP: Trump!”

  1. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Pres.Trump like or not destroyed the Republican Party.Got to say this about Pres.Trump he is his own man.He doesn.t care.Heis out to satisfy and keep his base happy.Lets face it Trump has a whole new demographic who claim to be Republican.Just take a look at all his rallies.Most that you observed at these rallies you would also see in attendance at a wrestle mania match up or any tittie bar etc.Nothing against any of them .They choose to support Trump.They got him elected says volumes.To this commissioner to distant yourself from Trump etc could possibly hurt you because you aleninated yourself from such stated demographic.I guess will wait and see what happens from your actions and views.Good luck just the same…

  2. nice try now says:

    If he quit because of Trump, who were the Republicans who he liked – Rick Scott, Rubio, Allen West? I’d think most diehard Democrats wouldn’t think that was any better!! So when it came time to vote for President did he vote for Hillary? I somehow doubt it.

    It may be timely now to blame Trump for all things bad about the Republican party but it sounds more like 2 things – he was disappointed that his Republican candidate of choice didn’t make it thru the primary, and also he knew the district he was running in and didn’t want to lose votes.

  3. Monica Abrams says:

    He’s a big phony. I heard him praising Trump in a room full of Republicans just TWO WEEKS AGO.

  4. Who said what says:

    Hmmm. That special Allen West shout out looks more like it originated from Richard DeNapoli. Special Thanks to RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day, Vice-Chair Colleen Stolberg, Secretary Sheela Venero, Treasurer Mark McCarthy and BREC Members Michael De Gruccio, Sally Musser, Felicia Anderson, Nick Stone, Nick Esser, Ismael Monroig, Heather Moraitis, Clarence McKee, Terry O’Loughlin and others for their hard work to make our hospitality suite and the entire Presidency 5 experience great! Thank You to Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll, State Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff, State Representative Moraitis, County Commissioner Chip LaMarca, Commissioner Powers, Comissioner Asseff, and candidates Col. Mike McCalister, Karen Harrington and Joe Kaufman for stopping by the hospitality suite.

    Thanks to all of our delegates and guests for making Presidency 5 an amazing experience!

    All the best,

    Richard DeNapoli, Chairman

    Republican Party of Broward County

  5. Howard Vollovick says:

    Commissioner Monroig’s party affiliation has nothing to do with the position he is running for as the Pembroke Pines commission race is a non partisan race. If Commissioner Shecter and the current sitting commissioners had enough faith in him to do his job for you the residents of Pembrpke Pines regardless of party affiliation,than that should be good enough for you. Again, this race has nothing to do with party affiliation.

  6. Howard Vollovick says:

    This article has nothing at all to do with this race and its sole purpose is to try and confuse you the voter that this is a partisan race which it is not. It’s sole purpose is to get you to change your vote based on partly affiliation which again this race has “Nothing” to do with party affiliation, it is a “Non Partisan Race”. You are not electing a Democrat, independent of Republican, you are electing a person regardless of party affiliation to represent district 1 as your commissioner. Don’t be fooled into voting party affiliation.


    I beg to differ.

    (1) The article specifically states the race is non-partisan.

    (2) The non-partisan designation means that the party identification does not appear on the ballot and the candidate can not use the designation in his campaign. It doesn’t mean anything beyond that.

    The Division of Elections has had to issue numerous opinions defining non-partisan city election which is an indication that there is great interest by voters in a candidate’s political affiliation.

    For instance, state election guru’s allow political parties to discuss a non-partisan candidate’s party registration. Other decisions allow the party organization to advertise promoting a candidate in a non-partisan race.

    Another decision last year on non-partisan municipal candidates states that while the law “prohibits a candidate for nonpartisan office from ‘campaigning based on party affiliation,’ it does not prohibit such candidate from ‘stating the candidate’s related experience.’ !d. Nor is there anything in the provision that expressly prohibits the candidate from stating opinions about other races, whether partisan or nonpartisan. Therefore, it is the opinion of the Division that section 106.143(3), Florida Statutes, does not prohibit you as a candidate for the nonpartisan office of city councilmember from stating that you support a particular candidate for President…”

    I guarantee that party activists in Pembroke Pines are spreading the word concerning the party ID of the various candidates.

    (3) A candidate’s party ID is the most important indicators of a candidate’s political philosophy, according to many studies. In a city race for instance, it could mean which candidate was more attuned to privatization.

  7. Rico Petrocelli says:

    Buddy, I may be going out on a limb here with the following statements. I would have to believe that close to 90% + on this site are Politicians, former politicians, Political Junkies, Political Activists (City, State or Federal), Political Appointees, or those who love to see those who have made Political mistakes or been arrested, or on the wrong side of you, and others for one reason or another.

    I would also have to assume (Hate that word) that the same 90% + have never run for office, or have any idea what an actual candidate thinks prior to running, and during the campaign. They might hang around Elected Officials, or been appointed by one, cut a check at a fundraiser for someone or like being in Pictures with someone elected.

    The #1 goal of the candidate is to win, right? They may have a campaign mgr, or do it themselves, but the goal is to win. So why are we surprised when someone does whatever it takes to win? ( Not Mean spirited I hope) The candidate looks at the chances of winning and makes adjustments, just like a football, basketball or any coach would do.

    So Ismael made a decision to go to Independent, to WIN. He looked at the #s like any candidate, and said this is the way to WIN (#1 goal right?) Loyalty to any Party is as strong as the candidate thinks they need to win. Again, why the surprise?

    Rick Starke, BREC Republican Treasurer looked at the #s in the district he wanted to WIN in, made a decision to switch and that a D in front of him would cement the WIN. WON…

    Scott Israel, looked at the #s to become Sheriff, said if I want to win in a Democratic Broward, I better switch from Republican and he WON…

    Dan Daley received tremendous Republican support in his Race( in then Republican Coral Springs (Elected people on Commission, not the city #s) from Vince Boccard, Tom Powers, and WON. When he realized the council had changed during his 1st term (Lot’s of D’s) and as a R, he made a decision that to win again, he needed to be a D. Switched and WON.

    Pete Tingom, lifelong Republican in Plantation was asked to run, but had to switch to get support of then Chair Mitch Caesar. Switched and WON.

    I remember Mitch taking me to Lunch at Vignettos (good choice for me, and Mitch is a longtime friend) in early 2005 and asking me to switch parties. He stated he could not support me as an R, would love to see me as a D, but as Independent it would be safe. I told him I would switch if he would, we both laughed and then we both ordered desert. I won…

    There are so many more examples, and I bet you in some heavy Republican counties north of us, some Democratic candidates switch to an R to win.

    Republicans and Democrats have certain core values, does that change by merely going to the SOE and signing another card? Probably not, but that newly switched candidate has to speak like the Party he switched to. Often the candidate, is saying one thing yet believing another in his heart. Independents get some slack because they can pick which core value to use, AFTER they take the temperature in the room they are speaking to (Ismael speaking in front of Republican Group comes to mind in article)

    I know many of the candidates and elected officials. My different positions in Broward County (Elected or Appointed) have given me the opportunity to meet and talk with Politicians from both sides, and actually have many many friends on both sides and Independents. It usually breaks down to the simplest term, do I like the candidate? People forget about the switch after the initial Article from you or Anthony man. They see a D or R on the ballot and run with it. It’s Human nature, I’m a D, I vote for D’s. I’m an R, I vote for R’s. Ismael is splitting the votes, hoping to get as many from ALL 3 voices in a Non-Partisan Race.

    Non- Partisan races???? (city judges,etc) We all know on this site what group they belong to way before the candidate announces, so who are we fooling? We back those who we believe will win, based on $, and their ability to get Votes, which is to WIN, my original comment.

    So if Ismael, or others switch sides, its because they want the position to hopefully help their city, state, or Government, or its the ONLY way to win. The old Don’t Vote for my opponent because he switched or did this or that, should not replace the candidate who says VOTE for me because I stand for this or that.

    Those who love to hate some of the people you write about on this site, would NEVER open themselves to the scrutiny of this site. If they did, they would be less mean spirited, because they have been there.

    I know those who are elected now, have run, or anticipate running know what I’m saying is right on the $. Some will comment this or that about me or others, but what do they know?, They’ve never been where we are or have been, maybe it’s easier to complain than to run…….

    Rico Petrocelli
    Plantation Council 2005-2009
    Republican Chairman
    Gov Appointed to Broward Housing (2 Governors)
    E.D BREC
    SCM Broward

  8. Pump the Brakes in Pines says:

    Buddy, I’ll give you the fact that many people ask and care about party affiliation. I consider it, but it doesn’t define my vote. As a regular observer and reader of your website I have wondered when a Monroig article would come out. Frankly I find it very interesting that the only articles you have written on this recent election cycle about Pembroke Pines have been about Tringo/Schwartz and Monroig. Especially when you align it with who is supporting who. You have given almost zero reporting about the other candidates in District 1/4 other than dropping their names as people they are running against. Your archives show that you once regularly wrote about Castillo (both pro/con) and he wrote regular comments as well. Your article pertaining to the identity politics of Tringo/Schwartz was solely one sided and now only Monroig’s party affiliations are noted. My questions is only, where is your journalistic integrity to report on both sides? Now as this is your site, you get to do what you want. But Castillo plays no less identity politics as blantantly shown on his Facebook page and I’m sure people would like to know the political leanings and backgrounds of the other candidates in District 1. Since you made the case that it is important information. But you have made no attempt to inform on all, you just informed on a few. Which is suspect to say the least. But I hope that you prove me wrong.

  9. Thomas D. James says:

    if he was appointed by current commissioners he’s got to be a crook!

  10. Sarah Wright says:

    That’s a good point Buddy. So with Monroig going independent in 2016, Tom Good switching from Republican to Democrat around 2008 (right before he ran for Drainage District) and Victor the only lifelong Democrat, what does that say about their philosophies. Have you asked them?

  11. Sad for George Moraitis says:

    George should change the BREC logo to a wolf in sheeps clothing

    So BREC has a Secretary who concealed his identity and his past to get elected. The past being almost murdering a woman with a claw hammer which he essentially got out of via checkbook justice.

    Now you have Rico, I believe he is on the BREC payroll, espousing the need for candidates to lie to voters about their ideology to get elected.

    No wonder why the kids in Parkland have called the adults failures. Rico is a prime example of such failure with his win at all costs and lie if need be attitude,

    George, you can’t dump Rupert but if you are a man of God, you must clean up BREC by extricating liars and frauds like Petrocelli and the rest of his ilk.

  12. Just Some Random Thoughts says:

    Hmm, so I think what Rico is saying in his piece is that Ismael switched because he is an opportunist and it really has nothing at all to do with Trump. If Ismael supported Alan West, that says a lot about his rabid, ultra right ways and tendencies because Alan West’s views and statements mimmick Trump’s sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, alt right views. Both lack basic respect for women and are alarmists that utilize dog whistle rhetoric in their public comments. The Trump excuse Ismael is trying to pass off as the reason he switched to independent is weak and not believable. Again, Rico is correct, Ismael is an opportunist, trying to pass himself off as someone he isn’t…. Funny enough, in his first Commission Meeting, Ismael was the deciding 3rd vote on a split commission, 2 for and 2 against, to increase the water tax rate in Pines by 25%. And former local Republican Party Chair and Pines resident Kevin Tynan was there to witness it. The old Republican mantra of raising taxes turned “Right” on its head that night.. Now mind you, Ismael wasn’t elected to the City Commission seat where his initial important public vote resulted in raising the entire citizenry of Pembroke Pines’ water rates by a quarter on the dollar; he was appointed by the City Commission to fill a vacancy and what is interesting about this is that there was not a publicly advertised resolution on the Commission Agenda that evening to do so. It was just brought up and done. Government in the sunshine? Open Transparency? Pass the smell test? Not the standard definition of any of these to any independent observer. Interestingly, the City Attorney said it was okay and signed off on it at the Commission meeting…. Now more interestingly, word has it that Ismael’s campaign manager has been Henry Rose dating back to 2016 when Ismael began his candidacy. Henry is the City’s Planning and Zoning Board’s Chair forever. Guess what board Ismael was appointed to a while back, in August of 2016, right when he started his campaign? Yup, The Planning and Zoning Board. Being on the same City board governing City development issues and having a daily campaign manager-candidate relationship would seem to be a conflict, right, due to both of them voting on the same P&Z issues and talking daily. It would take quite a discipline to not discuss these sunshine law governed voting issues when dealing and interacting in their daily business and political relationship. One would assume that Ismael’s campaign would pay Henry Rose for his consulting and printing services… Finally, Henry Rose is the long time Chairman of the City’s Chamber of Commerce, who formed a Political Action Committee (PAC). Why would a local Chamber of Commerce form a PAC? Well, the members of this PAC hosted a fundraiser for Ismael. And interestingly and subsequent to this, the PAC decided to convene to endorse a candidate in Ismael’s commission race. Guess who they endorsed? Yup, Ismael. Now, does it appear to be a conflict that individual members of a PAC get together and host a fundraiser for a candidate and then after that, convene to “independently” conduct candidate interviews for the sake of issuing an endorsement? Yup, it does appear to be a conflict and cross the borderline of ethical behavior for a NPO Independent Chamber of Commerce to become a political extension of a City Commission Candidate’s campaign. If you go to the Chamber’s website, their endorsement of Ismael’s candidacy is right there, front and center.. You know, I always thought Chambers of Commerce existed for the purpose of allowing local businesses to convene and network to improve their local business fortunes and become involved in the community, not act as Roger Stone like political guns-for-hire…. Anyway, just some random thoughts.

  13. Alvin E Entin says:

    Rico Petrocelli makes some valid and excellent points. Most of his assumptions are correct. Where I beg to differ is just in two areas. First, Rick Stark was, even as BREC Treasurer a Moderate Republican. When he left the Party it made those few Moderates left feel more isolated. He is more comfortable in a Party where he doesn’t have to explain people like the President and the curious crew which surrounds and enables him. Unlike Rick, and having no further political ambition, I remain in my Party with the hopes that it can again be the Party of Lincoln, Willkie, Dewey, Eisenhower, Rockefeller, Javits, George H W Bush, Jeb Bush and John Kasich. Israel Monroig made imho a principled decision. He has not registered as a Democrat but NPA. He has been a good Commissioner in the Pines and should remain so.While Rico is far from an extremist and is and has been a good and decent Public Servant, he can work with people whom he probably loathes for what he perceives as the greater good. Many of us simply cannot.

  14. RICO Petrocelli says:

    Sad for George Moriatis: I rest my case, an anonymous cowardly post from someone who doesn’t knoe what he or she is talking about. Your anonymity makes your post less credible, and wrong. On the payroll? Years and years ago. Put your name where your mouth is, or just be one of the 90%+ I talk about..As far as liar, I think your pants are on fire…lol… George will be Fine btw…

  15. Just Some Random Thoughts says:

    Hey Rico, I hope all is well with you. I wanted to address your point about Coral Spring Commission Member Dan Daley political party switch in an earlier comment you made. He did not switch parties because of the shift in the Coral Springs governing body; he switched parties due to his up close and first hand observations and takeaways of the Republican State House of Representatives when he worked for then State Representative Ari Porth. He saw up close and personal the House Members’ extreme right-wing based and far flung out of the mainstream ideologies/positions and oft times resulting inexplicable, and their is no other way to say it, ‘crazed’ proposed legislation (thank God for the semi normalcy of the State Senate). He reached a tipping point as a moderate and couldn’t accept it on a personal or political level. I just want the record to be straight on that.

  16. Rico Petrocelli says:

    Just Some Random Thought: Dan called me and we discussed exactly what you said. My main point was that a candidate’s goal is to win. We talked for a while, and as in the past left as friends.. Thanks for your input though.. I capiche…lol