By Selene Raj
Whether safely behind their masks or through the convenience of vote-by-mail, Broward County residents broke records when they cast their ballots in the 2020 primary elections.
This year’s primary election had a generous turnout of 25 percent of registered voters compared to 16.5 percent in August 2016– and, most overwhelmingly chose to vote by mail.
In several races, Tamarac residents voted for candidates who represented their communities, depending on where they lived, and their party affiliation.
Throughout the primaries, many candidates faced off against challengers and won—though some races did come close.
United States Representative Alcee Hastings faced off against primary challenger Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, CEO of Trinity Healthcare Services, who brought in almost 20,000 votes.
Hastings won in a landslide victory—with over 70 percent of the vote, with all precincts reporting. Since 1992, Hastings has represented District 20, which includes parts of both Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
Florida State Senator Perry Thurston also beat out three challengers to win more than 57 percent of the vote in District 33, where he represents parts of Tamarac, Margate, North Lauderdale, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and Oakland Park.
Thurston’s challengers—Terry Ann Williams Edden, earned 23.85 percent, Steven Meza 12.52 percent, and Shelton A. Pooler 6.51 percent. Each candidate attracted thousands of supporters and endorsements of their own. Thurston has held this seat since 2016.
Florida State Rep. Anika Omphroy was engaged in one of the tightest races of the night and was declared a winner against a young progressive candidate and member of the Service Employees International Union, Jasmen Rogers-Shaw. Omphroy led with 50.9 percent, by a margin of just 438 votes in a race where over 24,000 people voted.
Omphroy represents Florida’s District 95, which includes parts of Tamarac, Lauderhill, Lauderdale Lakes, Margate, North Lauderdale, Plantation, Sunrise, and Tamarac.
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony beat his predecessor, Scott Israel, in a tight and highly contentious race. Tony, endorsed by Tamarac Talk, was supported by many of the families who endured the loss of loved ones at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland.
Sheriff Tony won with 37.31 percent and 76,993 votes. Former Sheriff Israel received 35.32 percent of the votes, totaling 72,883 votes, coming in second in the six-way race with Al Pollock, Santiago Vasquez Jr., Willie Jones, and Andrew Smalling falling behind.
Tony will face off against the Republican H. Wayne Clark, who won his primary with over 70 percent of the vote tonight.
Broward County Mayor Dale Holness, who represents District 9, won his re-election in one of the most substantial margins of the night, with a resounding 86.90 percent of the vote, against his sole challenger, Garrington A. Essue, a 38-year-old Lauderhill real estate agent.
District 9 encompasses Lauderdale Lakes, and parts of Tamarac, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Oakland Park, Plantation, Sunrise, North Lauderdale, and Unincorporated Broward. Holness has served on the commission since 2010 and was named Mayor in 2019.
The General Election, where residents will vote for city commission and our next President of the United States, will be held on Tuesday, November 3. For all results, click here.
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- Selene Raj is a writer and a Florida International University graduate. Born in Trinidad and raised in America, she completed her Master's in Mass Communications in 2020, and has been living in Coral Springs since 2004. She is passionate about the communities she lives and works in and loves reporting and sharing stories that are as complex and meaningful as the people who live in them.
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