By Larry Blustein
As the focus statewide
surrounded the race for governor - that will play out in November - when
the much-anticipated race between Republican Rick Scott and Democrat
Charlie Crist will face-off, what Tuesday was truly about, especially in
this region, were the local races.
Non larger locally was County
Commission Seat 6 - where two Democrats - Quentin "Beam" Furr, a
longtime Hollywood Commissioner, went against one-time Hallandale Beach
Commissioner and State Rep. Joe Gibbons.
At a time when visibility
and being close to home 365 days a year has become more important, as
many candidates will find out in November, it worked for Furr on
Tuesday. Receiving 56% of the vote, he will now move to battle for the
vacancy left by Sue Gunzburger, who occupied the seat for more than two
decades and is leaving due to term limits.
Furr, who is a
librarian at Flanagan High in Pembroke Pines, served on the Hollywood
Commission from 2000 to 2012, garnered 4,633 votes to Gibbons' 3,562.
"It came down to never seeing or hearing about Mr. Gibbons locally,"
Randi Carlin of Hallandale Beach said. "I have lived here for 10 years
and never met the man. The only time I have heard about him was around
election time, and that should send a message to those running in
While Furr has been in the spotlight locally, the knock
on Gibbons - and many who had the larger picture in mind, if you run
locally, you need to come out and see the people you are going to serve.
Coming out during election time certainly does not cut it - and that
message will lay heavily when things get more serious in November -
especially with local elections.
"I am looking forward to the
November election for a number of reasons," Mike Williams of Hollywood
explained. "These people who are running for office and believe that
they can do nothing for the community and never show for different
community events that define and shapes their area, are going to be
failures. They spend time getting people to vote for them - while having
a hollow platform to stand on. If you vote for candidates like that,
you get terrible leaders."
While Gibbons has done tremendous
things for this area over the years, it did come to his lack of being
in the news and attending numerous local events where people often
gather. Furr has never stopped being the face locally, and that is what
truly propelled him against his fellow Democrat.
While the weeks
leading up to Tuesday's primary election in Miami-Dade and Broward
Counties were slow when it came to the early voting process, things
picked up a little bit more yesterday.
Still, low voter interest
and turnout, which has been evident for the past few years, kept many
away from the process that will eventually play out for the General and
Municipal Elections on Tuesday, Nov. 4.
It was indeed a vital day
for those looking to grab party nominations that will give them three
full months to continue campaigning for the coveted seats.
Universale Primary is a contest in a primary election in which all
candidates have the same party affiliation and the winner will have no
opposition in the general election. All qualified electors may vote in a
Universal Primary contest regardless of party affiliation.
STATE SENATE DISTRICT 36 IS SETTLED WITH BRAYNON, II
This race came down to veteran and popular Oscar Braynon, II and
newcomer Anis Auguste Blemur, who based his platform on the "regular
working guy", who came from Haiti and made the American Dream come true
with hard work and a proven business plan.
embraces change, Tuesday spoke volumes what Braynon has done for the
residents and local communities. His 21,237 votes was nearly 70% of the
final count - and will give him a huge advantage on a position that
STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 100 SELECTS JOE GELLER
The voters also spoke on Tuesday, choosing Joe Geller (3,270) over
fellow Democrats Benjamin Sorensen (1,051) and aggressive newcomer John
Paul Alvarez, who received 989 votes.
Geller is a longtime leader
in South Florida. A prominent attorney who was a leader with the
American Jewish Congress, Geller led the Miami-Dade Democrats for more
than 10 years and served two terms as North Bay Village mayor.
CONGRESS, DISTRICT 24 SELECTS WILSON AGAIN
Change gave way to veteran and proven leadership on Tuesday - with
71-year-old political veteran Frederica Wilson running away with nearly
81% of the vote (35,280) against fellow Democrat Michael Etienne