GOP Goes To Bat For One Of Its Own









The Broward Republican Party hit GOP-registered voters last night with robocalls supporting Plantation City Commission candidate Rico Petrocelli.

Democrats. I hate to tell you I warned you, but I did.

The calls featuring the voice of Bob Sutton, the party’s vice chair, exhorting Republicans to vote for “the only Republican in the race” — Petrocelli.


Rico Petrocelli Headshot-thumbRico Petrocelli


Sutton mentioned that Petrocelli was not just any Republican, but a former executive director of the Broward GOP.

Besides the robocall, the GOP is mailing flyers backing Petrocelli.

Meanwhile, four Democratic candidates are stumbling around fighting each other. There is a good chance that the Democrats will divide the anti-Petrocelli vote and the Republican will win.

Another looming problem for Democrats: Mayor Diane Veltri-Bendekovic, a Democrat, could also lose her re-election to Republican Jerry Fadgen, a Republican.  Several observers say the chances of a Fadgen win are 50-50.

Losing either the commission or mayor’s seat would be a setback for the local Democratic Party.  Losing both would be a disaster magnified by the fact that Democratic Chair Mitch Ceasar and Democratic First Vice Chair Cynthia Busch live in Plantation.

I’ve got to laugh about one element in the Republican’s campaign for Petrocelli.

I have heard for decades Broward Republicans whining that local Democrats are like sheep.  Democrats will vote for any candidate with a D next to their name, the Republicans complain.

The Petrocelli campaign proves that Republicans are very willing to use the same tactics they denounce Democrats for using. They are asking GOP voters to vote for Petrocelli solely because he is a Republican.





13 Responses to “GOP Goes To Bat For One Of Its Own”

  1. PFLA says:

    Shame what’s happened to both parties, no REAL leadership locally.

  2. tom armstrong says:

    A persons ability to handle a cities finances should be judged by how well they have handled their own affairs. A brief examination of makes it very clear that this man is an empty shell of financial wisdom.
    I have every confidence that Plantation, Republican or Democrat will see through this man and put the city above the shallowness of politics .There are good solid choices in this race. Plantation will see that, through all the dark smoke screen and give us another fine leader.Plantation has been blessed with a long list of good people who simply want to serve.It is what has made Plantation a great place to live. We will do the right thing and put party politics aside in this non- partisan election. tom

  3. Floridan says:

    There’s a world of difference between one’s personal finances and that of municipality or other government, so I’m not so sure that there is a one-to-one correlation between a person declaring bankruptcy and his or her ability to oversee municipal finances, especially when we don’t know the specific circumstances of the bankruptcy.

    One of the greatest of our founding father, Thomas Jefferson, was perpetually in debt and yet served in both appointed and elected office with distinction.

    This is not to say that Petrocelli is the best (or even a good) candidate. Just that bankruptcy should not be an automatic disqualifier.


    How about three bankruptcies and a Ethics Commission fine involving unlawful raising of money from city vendors?

  4. Count L F Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    I don’t know who has been running Plantation until now, but they must be doing something right as they have the Fort Lauderdale Jewish Community Center, the former Fort Lauderdale synagogues, the Fort Lauderdale Coin Club, and the Fort Lauderdale Stamp and Coin Show! Sometimes I wonder if there is anything left in Fort Lauderdale that Plantation hasn’t snagged except the Elbow Room, the Floridan, the County Library, and the Beaches! You have to hand it to someone in Plantation, they must be doing something right!

  5. TamaracTalk says:

    Anyone that’s considering voting for Francis “Rico” Petrocelli needs to get themselves up to speed and find out more about this guy, his financial and ethics issues…not to mention, serious problems with keeping jobs. Just do a search here, or I’ll make it easier for you: Broward Beat’s Archives on Rico Petrocelli

  6. The Guess Who says:

    Mitch and the Broward DEC ponied up a paltry $500.00 to help turn out Democrats, which will help Diane and, I guess, help either Louis or Pete (Spoiler: Jeff or Claudette ain’t winning folks.) Mitch tried to talk people out of the race, but why be afraid of him? If he was sitting on a war chest, people would respect him. Instead, he raises money to pay rent and a Secretary… errr… Executive Director. The Florida Party is kicking in 2k by comparison, which is way more than anyone would have expected.

    If Jerry and Rico win, Mitch and Cynthia should both immediately resign. Of course, who am I kidding, that would never happen.


    $500 is half the maximum contribution to one candidate. If true, its a laughable figure.

  7. The Guess Who says:

    Correct Buddy, especially since the party could spend unlimited funds destroying Rico to R and Male Independents. There are on other elections of consequence in March for Ds in Broward.

  8. PFLA says:

    I thought the law was changed to $1000


    The maximum contribution to a candidate from one entity is $1000. Below is the relevant portion of the Florida law governing contributions:

    106.08 Contributions; limitations on.—
    (1)(a) Except for political parties or affiliated party committees, no person or political committee may, in any election, make contributions in excess of the following amounts:
    1. To a candidate for statewide office or for retention as a justice of the Supreme Court, $3,000. Candidates for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor on the same ticket are considered a single candidate for the purpose of this section.
    2. To a candidate for retention as a judge of a district court of appeal; a candidate for legislative office; a candidate for multicounty office; a candidate for countywide office or in any election conducted on less than a countywide basis; or a candidate for county court judge or circuit judge, $1,000.

  9. maybe says:

    Calling a municipal election non partisan is laughable.

  10. PFLA says:

    Missed the “half” in your response. I stand corrected

  11. electric jack says:

    same thing is happening in Miramar. Mr Chambers opening speech to the faithfull at the Neighbors debate was,” LETS RAISE TAXES” then we have another democrat who claims to be worried about the 53 Million dollar bond who claims to be a financial genius at bank of America who in reality is a ticket agent for American Airlines, an then we have 2 others who have never been in charge of anything except filing income taxes????? Ah yes Matilda it is fun running against1-2-3-democrats…..notice everyone got in after they found out Mr Raise Taxes was unopposed. County Mayor you need to do some brain storming with the hubby…..proof that the d’s only run candidates that want to cost us tax payers more. Miramar the only city in Broward County with a storm water fee on their property taxes in addition to the normal water district storm water fee…..Does no one see what going on buying a used modular building for $300,000 while everyone else buys a new one for $65,000 why bother asking folks who own one what it really costs. Then its put in and guess what its full of mold useless like the manageement who chose this one…folks thats your money being wasted. Do we really nee a 8000 sq ft tactical vehicle garage? Give it back t the feds we dont live in Syria….an bubbling fountains in the sidewalk wonder why all these construction jobs?? To non Miramar Companies?Look at 2 certain city commissioners financial disclosure forms from 2014 election…each has over 25 different donations from construction companies and related industries…?????????? an then the fire fee where the Union for the Fire Fighters admitted to me that only $100,000 dollars actually gets to the Fire Dept??I wonder where the rest went??????

    maybe to run??????? maybe for what raises??? Oh wait that was paid from our all gone rainy day fund…You folks in the city hall better start praying we dont have any hurricanes as the money to pay for the downed trees is all gone given as a bonus to the workers???

  12. Alvin Entin says:

    I have no comment on Rico Petrocelli other than to say he is a personable guy. That he has issues is not arguable. The good people of Plantation will make their decision. However, Buddy, lumping him in an article with Jerry Fadgen is unfair. Philosophically I disagree with Jerry vehemently on the social issues. However, in my dealings with him I have found him a man of unimpeachable integrity and decency. Additionally, he has proven as a Councilman in Plantation to be a dedicated and conscientious public servant. The Plantation council will not decide matters relating to choice and marriage equality, so my disagreements with Jerry on those social issues are not important in that race. If I lived in Plantation I would be pleased to vote for Jerry Fadgen, not because he is a Republican, but because he is a fiscally conservative public servant with a vision of making people lives better and more rewarding. Placing his candidacy is an article on Petrocelli just isn’t fair.

  13. Skippy says:

    Looking at Rico’s January financials, Ron Book dropped $1k into Rico’s coffers.

    Of course Rico needed that to pay the $740.00 tab from the fundraiser he held at Webby’s previously in the month.