BY BUDDY NEVINS
Two of Broward County’s longest serving politicians are retiring and a third is undecided about leaving.
It all takes place in 2016.
That amounts to two years of back room jockeying and quiet campaigning culminating in an expensive election brawl for among the most desirable jobs in local politics.
Here is what’s at stake:
- Clerk of the Courts Howard Forman told Browardbeat.com that it is “my intention” to end his more than four decades in elected office in two years.
- Property Appraiser Lori Parrish told Browardbeat.com, “I’m through” in 2016.
- Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes said that she will make a decision whether to run again sometime “before” the filing period for the 2016 election.
Two other highly prized positions will not be open in 2016: State Attorney and Public Defender.
State Attorney Michael Satz and Public Defender Howard Finkelstein say they have no intention of retiring. (See their statements in the comment section below.)
All the jobs are administrative positions paying roughly $200,000 in wages and benefits.
Of the three who are or may leave, Forman has served the longest.
Forman began his career in 1973 on the Hallandale City Commission. He served 12 years on the Broward County Commission (1976-88) and another 12 years in the state Senate (1988-2000) before being elected Clerk in 2000.
The four-term clerk said he does not know who might replace him.
Parrish began her political career on the School Board in 1984. She jumped to the County Commission in 1988, where she quickly became one of the most powerful and influential commissioners in modern times.
She became property appraiser in 2004.
It is widely assumed in political circles that Parrish wants County Commissioner Marty Kiar, a former Democratic state House member from Davie, to replace her. It is two years off and that could change.
Snipes was a retired school administrator of Broward Schools in 2003 when Gov. Jeb Bush appointed her elections’ supervisor.
She held no previous elective office. However, some would argue that moving from a classroom teacher to area superintendent in the cutthroat school bureaucracy during her decades-long career involved considerable political skills.
Because she has not decided on retirement, Snipes did not talk about a replacement.
There is also some support for making the elections’ chief a non-elected position reporting to the County Manager after Snipes leaves.
The high salary and the relative independence of the three positions probably will draw no shortage of experienced candidates. This includes politicians who have been forced out of their current office because of Term Limits.