Fort Lauderdale, Fla — Howard C. Forman’s final year as Broward Clerk of Courts has brought wage decreases, employment terminations, closure of satellite offices and frustration to many, as a result of a $2 million dollar decrease in the Clerk’s previous $40 million dollar budget.
Welcoming the challenges and recognizing the tasks set before them, work has already begun for the candidates anticipating the opportunity to fill the open seat.
Confident that their insights will improve the current ‘mismanagement’ by the incumbent, the question remains, how will voters respond at the polls during next year’s primary election with knowledge of the candidate’s profiles being limited?
Corey Shearer, president of the Broward Democratic Black Caucus said there is a huge need for the candidates to reach out to the community through various events where the public will be able to gain a greater understanding as to what they are bringing to the political platform, which is something Shearer said he has yet to see.
“We should be, as citizen’s demanding [these things] from our current administration and it is definitely something the candidates should be picking up on. We should be looking to see [if] things like the rolling out of new technology, addressing outreach to the community and full explanation of what is available to people at the clerk of office as well as the courthouse, [are] part of the platform of these candidates. I think if they have experienced some of the angst the community has experienced, it’s a lot easier for them to sympathize and be committed.” Shearer said.
Brenda D. Forman
Defending her involvement and commitment to the community, wife of incumbent Howard C. Forman, Brenda D. Forman, is running for the 2016 seat. “I have been very involved in the community and my decision to run for office came from being an employee and seeing the ins and outs of employee and public needs. I know what it’s like to be on the inside and having been managed and trained by the Clerk of Courts himself, I will do everything in my power to ensure the employee’s needs are being met. Without the employees, Broward County cannot be served. I want Broward County to know I will be there for them at all times and I am here to serve,” Forman said.
Mitch Ceasar, who is no stranger to the political arena, announced August 10 that he would also run for the office. In a public press release Cesaer said his professional career and experience as Broward’s Democratic Chair has prepared him to qualify for the position of Clerk of Courts. “My strong relationship with our elected Judges, working legal community, and Broward’s many communities has provided me with valuable insight on both the demands and the potential of and for our county’s Clerk of Courts office” Ceasar said.
Candidate, Elizabeth McHugh, who currently serves as the Administrative Director in the Public Defender’s office, said if elected for the position her focus will be on improving information systems and effectively managing operations. “After working 28 years in the court system and having had interactions with clerks and attorneys, it is time for change. Who better than someone who has the experience and education to make them.” McHugh said.
Rubin Young, who is running for three seats, Clerk of Courts, Supervisor of Elections and City Commissioner of District 2 in 2018 said “Enough is enough…” -fueling his campaign with reports of longstanding discrepancies within Broward’s political offices.
“I am running because when I get elected there will be no more protections for incumbency and if an ordinary person runs and wins he/she will finally take (his/her) elected office because my staff and I will see about making it happen. There will be no more elected officials using their office or powers to influence the voter by endorsing a candidate’s political campaign, or a political party club president, or a church pastor involving themselves in getting absentee ballots or endorsements for the candidate they favor or have received monies for supporting his/her campaign -a violation of election law,” Young said.
Shandrell Latrice Roscoe
Shandrell Latrice Roscoe, a court bailiff who is the 24 year old candidate on the 2016 Clerks of Court’s roster, said in an online interview, “age is just a number” and the public’s question to her should be centered on what she is capable of doing. Having received her Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Florida Atlantic University, Roscoe’s campaign slogan reads “Professionalism, Integrity, Innovative” citing her experience in the clerk’s office as motivation for her candidacy.
Considering all the candidates running are on the Democratic ticket and there are about twice as many registered Democrats than Republicans in Broward County, District 8 Commissioner Barbara Sharief said the key to this race is seeing if the candidates on the ticket will have what it takes to motivate voter turnout. “When Democrats are motivated and there is something on the ballot to vote for, they will come out. We have lots of great people in Broward County that are interested in making a difference and I think it’s going to be one of the races to watch. ”