BY BUDDY NEVINS
A 2014 race for Broward County Commission is already getting interesting.
State Rep. Joe Gibbons, D-Hallandale Beach, is running for the South Broward District 6.
He opened a campaign account Friday.
He joins former Hollywood Commissioner Beam Furr, who has an account open.
Gibbons, who can tap Tallahassee, probably has a head start in raising money. He already has the endorsement of State Democratic House Leader Perry Thurston of Plantation and state Rep. Jim Waldman of Coconut Creek.
State Rep. Joe Gibbons at Florida House Appropriations Committee meeting.
The seat is now occupied by Commissioner Sue Gunzburger, who must leave the commission in 2014 because of term limits leaving open the position with its lucrative salary of over $100,000 annually in pay and benefits.
Gibbons was elected to the House in 2006 and is serving his last term allowed under the term limits law. A leading House member, he is the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations committee.
District 6 is over two-to-one Democratic – 70,030 to 28,151. It has roughly 68,000 whites and 20,000 blacks, with over 33,000 Hispanics.
A former Hallandale Beach commissioner from 2003-2006, Gibbons has had a great deal of success appealing to both white and black voters.
His current House District 100 district stretches encompasses his familiar South Broward, but had largely white areas of northeast Miami-Dade County like Aventura included in it for the first time last year. It contains roughly 6 percent black voters and 33 percent Hispanic voters, a demographic breakdown that caused skeptics to question whether Gibbons could hold on to his seat.
Yet he easily overwhelmed his white Jewish opponent from Miami-Dade.
A major accusation against Gibbons is that he doesn’t really live in the district. Gibbons, 64, job other than the state House is as a public policy advisor to the Tallahassee office of the Akerman Senterfitt law/lobbying firm.
One other candidate said to be considering the race for the seat: Hallandale Mayor Joy Cooper.