Ken Keechl, who served as the first openly gay mayor of Broward County, has filed to run for Fort Lauderdale City Commission.

The attorney made his run official on Monday, vying for the seat of Vice Mayor Heather Moraitis, who recently announced that she would be ending her term two years early.

“People have encouraged me to run for the Fort Lauderdale City Commission and the timing just didn’t seem right,” Keechl told SFGN. “Then when [Moraitis] surprisingly resigned two years early, I thought, ‘What a good opportunity.’ All the stars aligned, if you will.”

If he were to win the seat, he would be the third LGBT member of the commission.

As a self-described “politics junkie,” Keechl said he has been following upcoming projects in Fort Lauderdale, including the bridge vs. tunnel debate and the joint government center campus project. He also noted the importance of infrastructure projects, citing the city’s ongoing struggle with bursting pipes.

“I have been a smart growth advocate my entire career. I’m pretty conservative when it comes to millage rates and taxation,” he noted.

Thanks to his experience on the county commission, he has garnered relationships with big players in Broward County and Fort Lauderdale alike.

“I am good friends with everybody on the county commission. I’ve been following these issues for a while,” he said. “Who better to deal with these issues and to assist the mayor than me? I know all the players and they all respect me. That is one of the major reasons I’m running.”

The city commission has taken stances on controversial issues impacting the LGBT community, including the right for transgender athletes to play on the team aligned with their gender identity. The commission also passed a resolution against the “Don’t Say Gay” law when it was still a bill and Stop WOKE Activism Act. When asked if he supports the city making these bold statements, Keechl replied yes, and noted his successful fight to protect transgender people from discrimination in the county.

“It’s an obligation. When the people of a city or county or state elect you to help lead, you need to do that,” he said. “You should be sending a message to the county, to the state, and to the nation. I think it’s a moral imperative, so I agree with that.”

Keechl served on the Broward County Commission from 2006 to 2010 and served as mayor from 2009 to 2010. Previously, he worked as the assistant city attorney for the City of Plantation from 1992 to 2006, when he was an associate and partner at Brinkley Morgan and then a partner at Kopelowitz Ostrow. In his private practice, Keechl Law, he handles cases involving LGBT people and discrimination. He served as the president of the Dolphin Democrats as well as the SunServe board of directors.

Keechl has lived in the City of Fort Lauderdale since 1987, after he graduated from Florida State University. He and his husband, Ted Adcock, have been married since 2011.