Signatures for Broward commission candidate challenged

A last-minute challenge to Broward County Commission candidate and state Sen. Chris Smith’s petition to run for District 9 brought uncertainty to the race as qualifying ended Friday.

Sean Phillippi, who is working as a consultant for Commissioner Dale Holness’ re-election campaign, emailed a complaint at 11:50 a.m. Friday to the county’s Supervisor of Elections Office about 30 of the signatures accepted for Smith’s candidacy. The deadline to qualify for the ballot was noon.

To qualify for the ballot, candidates from the two major parties had to pay $5,747, while unaffiliated candidates had to pay $3,831. An alternative was to collect voter signatures from the district. Write-in candidates pay no qualifying fee.

Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes said her office was looking into the complaint but was unsure if the review would be completed Friday.

Qualifying updates: 2016 elections

Smith was skeptical.

“It’s a shame that Commissioner Holness resorts to cheap political tricks instead of running on his record against me,” he said. “I am ashamed for our community that that’s how he starts this election season. I plan on running on my record.”

Holness, 59, a real estate professional, has outraised all candidates in any of the county races, with $292,415 to Smith’s $187,074. Holness lives in Plantation but is a former Lauderhill city commissioner.

Smith, 46, is an attorney. He lives in Fort Lauderdale, Broward’s largest city but one that lost direct representation on the County Commission in recent years.

Parkland mayor Udine files for Ritter's county seat

Parkland mayor Udine files for Ritter’s county seat

Parkland Mayor Michael Udine wasted no time filing to run for County Commission after Stacy Ritter’s seat came open.

Ritter starts her new job as Broward tourism director June 5. The announcement came Friday.

Udine (@michaeludine and michaeludine.com) was at the counter of the Broward elections…

Parkland Mayor Michael Udine wasted no time filing to run for County Commission after Stacy Ritter’s seat came open.

Ritter starts her new job as Broward tourism director June 5. The announcement came Friday.

Udine (@michaeludine and michaeludine.com) was at the counter of the Broward elections…

(Brittany Wallman)

Both candidates are Democrats.

District 9 covers all or parts of Fort Lauderdale, unincorporated Broward, Plantation, Sunrise, Lauderhill, Tamarac, Oakland Park, North Lauderdale and Lauderdale Lakes. It has the highest percentage of Democrat voters — 72 — and the lowest percentage of Republican — 8. The remainder are no party or in another party. The district also has the highest percentage of black voters, 65 percent.

Holness is Caribbean-American of Jamaican heritage and Smith is African-American.

This story will be updated. Check back for more information.

shobbs@sunsentinel.com or 954-356-4520

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Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-qualifying-broward-commission-20160624-story.html

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