The Dolphin Democrats, Broward County’s oldest gay political club, issued endorsements late Wednesday evening following a long meeting at the Pride Center.
Judicial candidates gave two minute presentations but could not be considered for endorsement. After they left the building, a parade of political candidates stated their case.
There was tension between candidates for Broward Sheriff as challenger Jim Fondo took the podium and declared the department has become “political” and morale is low.
Before Fondo could continue his comments he was interrupted by Dolphins Vice President James Basmajian, a retired Navy midshipman.
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“No negative comments on other candidates, that’s our rule,” Basmajian declared in a room filled with elected officials, political candidates, concerned citizens and curious onlookers.
Sheriff Scott Israel took the podium next and stated “morale at the agency has never been higher.” The Sheriff also said he had received a straight A report card from the “GLBT community,” violent crime has gone down in Broward and he is against Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
“Violence begets violence,” he said.
Ultimately, only eight candidates were endorsed out of more than 25 that spoke to the club. Dolphins board member, Tim Ross, said the supermajority rule applied in tallying the votes of membership. Fifty members voted at the endorsement meeting.
Candidates endorsed were: Sheriff Israel, Mike Satz, Broward State Attorney, Ken Keechl, Florida House district 93, Nan Rich, Broward Commission district 1, Steve Geller, Broward Commission district 5, Patricia Good, school board district 2, Rosalind Osgood, school board district 5 and Robin Bartleman, school board district 9.