Special to South Florida Times
Lauderhill City Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness and Miramar Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief, both Democrats, could be headed to the Broward County Commission following Tuesday’s primary election.
Holness, with 34.89 percent of the vote, won in a field of candidates that included incumbent Albert C. Jones, Lauderhill City Commissioner M. Margaret Bates, former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Carlton Moore and activist Aude Sicard for the largely African American and Caribbean American District 9 seat.
Holness will appear on the November ballot for a final vote because a write-in candidate, Marie K. Leon, qualified to run but he will likely win the race.
Sharief garnered 45 percent of the votes in a hard-fought contest. If she wins, she would take the District 8 seat left vacant by Diana Wasserman-Rubin, who resigned in July and was charged the same day with allegedly unlawful compensation.
Sharief ran against Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo and Shevrin D. Jones, an educator at Florida Atlantic University. She will face Republican Christopher Max Ziadie who defeated fellow Republican Jose Helio Lopez, a handyman, in November.
Fort Lauderdale resident Edward Smothers said that he would be “happy to see new blood in the commission seats.”
“All the corruption needs to end; it’s an embarrassment to all of Broward County. There’s work to be done that can’t take place from a jail cell,” Smothers said.
Smothers said he voted early at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center.
In the State House District 94 Democratic primary, incumbent Hazelle Rogers won easily with 89 percent of the votes over John Labriola.
For the District 92 seat, incumbent Democrat Gwyn Clark-Reed, a retired Deerfield Beach educator garnered 56 percent of the votes to defeat Justin Flippen.
In other news from Tuesday’s primary, of Broward County’s 90 judges, three of the five blacks were on the ballot.
Incumbent Circuit Court Judges Elijah H. Williams and Kenneth Gillespie, and Broward County’s first female African-American judge, County Court Judge Mary Rudd Robinson won their races.
Fort Lauderdale attorney F.J. McLawrence is in a run-off.
But Lauderhill attorney Roshawn Banks lost to Mindy Solomon.
“We can’t afford to lose black judges,” said Idellah Jones, a Lauderhill resiedent, explaining her motivation to vote.
“There are only a few, so until we can get more, it’s important to keep the ones we have.”
Jones described going to court as an “already frightening experience,” adding that “it’s better to know that the playing field might one day be equal.”
Cynthia Roby may be reached at CynthiaRoby@bellsouth.net.