BY BUDDY NEVINS
Democratic State Rep. Jim Waldman is a team player.
A few years ago, Waldman was one of the leaders rounding up votes to elect Plantation Democrat Perry Thurston the Democratic leader of the Florida House.
Thurston’s opponent was state Rep. Joe Gibbons of Pembroke Park.
But when Gibbons was thrown into a newly fashioned district by reappointionment and picked up primary opposition from Miami-Dade County, Waldman put aside his old feelings and was there to help.
Gibbons had a problem.
Roughly 57 percent of his new District 100 was in Miami-Dade, territory he never represented. Running along the beach, the Miami-Dade portion was also 93 percent non-black.
Gibbons is black. His opponent was Sheldon Lisbon, a white Orthodox Jew who was a Surfside commissioner for a short time.
Lisbon allegedly told Miami-Dade voters that they should vote against Gibbons because he “wasn’t like us”, according to the Gibbons campaign.
Waldman, who is Jewish, offered to help.
On primary election day, Waldman worked the one poll in Surfside. It was Lisbon’s home territory.
Gibbons beat Lisbon in the Surfside poll. He also beat him in Miami-Dade 52-48 percent.
“Though I voted against him for leader, once you’re part of the family, however dysfunctional we are, you still support your family. Joe is a real team player and is an effective member,” Waldman explained in an e-mail.