Broward County

Incumbents win handily in a light turnout of Broward elections

Brenda C. Snipes is supervisor of elections in Broward County.
Brenda C. Snipes is supervisor of elections in Broward County. ho

In a light turnout of about 16 percent, Broward voters decided to retain many incumbents in the county, including the sheriff, three school board members and a supervisor of elections, whose office inadvertently posted early voting and absentee ballot results on Tuesday night before the polls closed, a violation of state law.

The error delayed the official early voting and absentee results from being posted until about 7:50 p.m. Tuesday.

Mindy Perkins, the CEO of VR Systems, which runs the county’s election website, said an employee accidentally made a preview link public.

“A staff member of ours inadvertently created a link that was a preview of the election results that were not intended to be public,” she explained. “Because of the error that link to the preview was made to go live. As soon as we recognized that … we started the process of fixing it.”

Despite the snafu, Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes easily defeated challenger David Brown in Tuesday’s elections, winning a fourth term in office. Snipes was first appointed to her position by then-Gov. Jeb Bush after he removed Miriam Oliphant for botching the 2002 primary.

Incumbent Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, who won his first term in 2012, kept his post after defeating three challengers, all of whom have law enforcement experience: James Fondo, Willie Jones and Edison Jules. Israel, who raised about $400,0000, will face Republican Santiago Vasquez Jr., a former Broward Sheriff’s Office sergeant, in the November election.

Incumbent school board members Rosalind Osgood, Robin Bartleman and Patricia “Patti” Good all kept their seats.

Osgood, who was first elected in 2012 to represent District 5 — which covers Lauderhill, Lauderdale Lakes and parts of Fort Lauderdale and Sunrise — has been a minister, social worker and teacher in Broward County for 20 years. She defeated Nathalie Lynch-Walsh, who has held several volunteer positions in the school district.

Bartleman, who was first elected to a countywide seat in 2004, easily defeated Sharnell Selena Jackson, a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader. Bartleman is the immediate past chair of the Children’s Services Council and a current board member.

Good, who represents District 2 — which covers Miramar and Pembroke Pines — kept her seat, defeating Rose Walker-Williams and Andrew Ramjit.

In the county commission race, there were three seats up for grabs.

Incumbent County Commissioner Dale Holness narrowly held onto his seat — which covers parts of Fort Lauderdale and other cities. Holness, who raised about $372,000, defeated Sen. Chris Smith, who raised $224,000.

Former state Sen. Nan Rich won handily over Weston City Commissioner James Norton. The seat is currently held by Marty Kiar, who will become the property appraiser in January.

Another former state senator, Steve Geller, was the clear winner for the central/western Broward seat over businessman Wayne Arnold, who self-funded his campaign. The seat was left open because Lois Wexler was term limited.

Here’s a look at a few other Broward races:

▪ Clerk of Courts: Longtime Clerk of Courts Howard Forman retired, leaving the position open. His wife, Brenda Forman, who works in the clerk’s office, beat Mitch Ceasar, the longtime Broward Democratic Party chairman, and Elizabeth Ann McHugh, administrative director for Public Defender Howard Finkelstein.

▪ In a heated Democratic primary race for State Senate Seat 34, attorney Gary Farmer led over former state Sen. Jim Waldman and State Rep. Gwyn Clarke-Reed.