BY BUDDY NEVINS
Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter proved Sunday that the best revenge is success.
Around 700 crowed into a King’s Point Condominium theater for Ritter’s re-election kickoff.
For a while, it didn’t look like she would run again. The past few years she has been savaged on the Internet and in some Main Street media. She was called corrupt.
Ritter appeared to be dead politically. Buried.
But appearances can be deceiving. Ritter had no intention of being chased off the stage…by anybody but the voters.
And many voters apparently still like her based on the numbers at her kickoff.
Elected officials showed their support for Ritter, too.
Sheriff Al Lamberti was there. That the chief law enforcement officer of Broward attended a re-election event for Ritter says volumes about the validity of any corruption allegations against her.
(As an aside, the Republican Lamberti got the loudest applause and a few cheers when introduced. This is notable since the event was sponsored by the King’s Point Democratic Club.)
Among others attending were School Board member Robin Bartleman, Clerk of the Courts Howard Forman, state Sen. Jeremy Ring, state Reps. Franklin Sands and Jim Waldman, Tamarac Commissioners Harry Dressler and Diane Glasser, Parkland Commissioner Jared Moskowitz and Coral Springs Mayor Roy Gold.
My favorite political moment of the night: A dapper 72-year-old Sands grabbing his wife Leslie and jitterbugging to the 1940s-era swing music that warmed up the crowd. The mood apparently just seized him. No one else was dancing. No one but me seemed to be paying attention as they swayed while others walked by.
Ritter’s kickoff Sunday night was unusual. Political claptrap replaced by comedy.
New York comic Stewie Stone spritzed his shtick.
Comic Stewie Stone
It started right after he was introduced by Ritter.
“You are a wonderful advocate for the people and the best ass in politics,” Stone quipped as Ritter walked off in four-inch stiletto heels.
The audience roared. Ritter appeared to blush.
“There are so many people here,” Stone continued. “It only shows that if you give Jews free coffee and cake…”
Laugher cut off his punch line.
He kibitzed with the audience.
“Where did you meet?” Stone asked one couple in the front row.
“Aventura,” said the wife.
“Oh, that was when you had money,” Stone fired back.
The King’s Point crowd loved it. They laughed through Stone’s 30-minute R-rated set and left the clubhouse smiling. Not bad for a political rally.
Ritter has been controversial the past four years.
She kickstarted the new courthouse and the airport expansion, two vital projects stalled for over a decade. But the media was mostly interested in other things.
Although not charged with anything or named as a co-conspirator anywhere, Ritter was savaged in the media. She was “tied” to this shady deal and “connected” to that shady individual.
I know the media game of loaded words, headlines and pictures. I played it very well for decades. I know how the media can play with somebody like a cat toys with a mouse.
The mouse has no recourse. Ritter does. She can win again.
She only has a minor Republican opponent. And if her re-election kickoff is representative of how well she is liked in northwest Broward, Ritter well on her way to another term.