Broward Politics: Does Anybody Care About Mayor Dean Trantalis Outside Fort Lauderdale?





As if Dean Trantalis doesn’t have enough work as the newish mayor of Fort Lauderdale.

At least three news releases this month trumpeted Trantalis’ endorsement of state House candidate Andrew Dolberg in Florida House District 98.

District 98 is basically Plantation and Davie. Not Fort Lauderdale.

Dolberg is one of four Democrats running for the seat, which is now held by three-term state Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation. The newly-married Edwards is retiring from politics (for now?). 

So what does the Trantalis endorsement really mean? 

Few, if any, in the West Broward District care that the mayor of Fort Lauderdale supports Dolberg. 

No, it is Trantalis’ role as a long-time gay activist that is in play here.  The endorsement is a wink to the gay community that Dolberg is gay friendly. 



Dean Trantalis


Dolberg’s campaign emphasizes his ties to the gay community in other ways. 

A Dolberg news releases mentions an endorsement from “LGBT rights watchdog Michael Albetta.” 

Dolberg’s campaign consultant is Eric Johnson, a veteran gay political tactician well known as a go-to strategist in the gay community. He was U. S. Reps. Patrick Murphy and Robert Wexler’s chief of staff.

The gay community has always been a fuzzy concept in political campaigns. Other than parts of Fort Lauderdale and Oakland Park, plus Wilton Manors, the influence of gays whose vote is driven by LGBTQ issues is scattered. 

Voters also know that every Democratic candidate in Broward is publicly gay friendly. 

So it is an interesting strategy Dolberg is using. wanted to ask Dolberg about it, but the candidate or his staff could not be reached for comment. 

We also wanted to ask Dolberg about a weird description of District 98 as “left-leaning” in one news release.

State Rep. Edwards, who represents the district now, is far from “left-leaning.” State Sen. Lauren Book, a Plantation Democratic who also represents the area, is far from “left-leaning.”

Plantation and Davie are not Berkeley.  



Andrew Dolberg


Dolberg has already put $20,000 into his campaign.  He has also raised $21,550.

That seems like a nice start financially, except one of the Democrats that Dolberg is up against is seasoned trial attorney Michael Gottlieb.

Gottlieb also put his own money in his campaign — $50,000. And Gottlieb has outraised Dolberg, taking in $37,318.

A third Democrat Elaine Geller put $30,000 of her own money in her race, plus raised $1,830.  

Geller also is the only female and against three males. Her gender could go a long way.  

A fourth Democrat is Stephen Korka. He has no money to date, but is a personable political novice who built his own retail business from the ground up.   

The District is almost two-to-one registered Democrats so Democratic candidates are all that count.

Trantalis has picked his choice from among those Democrats. 

The question is whether Trantalis’ endorsement is meaningful.’s take: 

Trantalis’ campaign clout as a gay activist is unproven outside of Fort Lauderdale. But his stature in the gay community may be trumped by his role as a longtime member of the political establishment. 

The Fort Lauderdale mayor is a political warhorse who has been clip clopping through local campaigns for years. It is Trantalis’ connection to politics that is not beneficial in an era when many voters are rejecting the political establishment.


9 Responses to “Broward Politics: Does Anybody Care About Mayor Dean Trantalis Outside Fort Lauderdale?”

  1. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    I have received several emails from Mr.Dolberg, as i am assuming like many have had also.From people that i have talked to are all District 2 residents.This tells me Mayor Trantalis not only is endorsing Dolberg but either gave him his email list( which he got from retrieving them from his predecessor Charlotte Rodstrom).Perfectly legal etc but my thought is it takes build that email base up just to have someone( wink.wink) do a records request to get such stated email accounts etc.So this tells me what u report here that Trantalis really likes this canidate.Some will say it doesn.t really matter unless you are targeting the LBGT residents.Smart move.They vote.It also helps as u point out that Dolberg is gay friendly( Inciedently what does that mean).Anyhow other than Trantalis endorsing him i don.t know much about him.Besides he sent me an email stating he is working tireslly to get me my voting rights restored.Followed by if i would donate 25.oo dollars( yes).So instead of hustling for dollars what i would like to see is what Dolberg is all about.Views on gun control, abortion etc.I wish him well.As far as my voting rights i will stick with Judge Walker( who ruled Gov.Scott clemency rules are basically archaic etc).Regardless, of my facts i wish him well.I kinda like Gottlieb although..

  2. Davie Democrat says:

    My God, he looks like he just climbed out of his crib. Michael Gottlieb has some years on him and thus is clearly the most experience candidate. He has been a successful lawyer and not doing this for something to do.


    Yes, Dolberg may look young. That doesn’t detract from his business — a debate camp and coaching program.

    I contacted someone else who is involved in a debate camp associated with a major university. This person said Dolberg’s enterprise is known and respected. Debate camps can easily gross six or seven figures annually depending on how many students attend, according to this debate coach.

  3. Just saying says: activist
    I also got emails wanting $ donations. I unsubscribed, then flagged as spam. I don’t live in that district. As to your restoration for voting rights it is on Nov ballot and will be approved. Then you will have them again.

  4. Ha Ha Ha says:

    The new Fort Lauderdale commissioners are off to a great start! First they killed off Jack[ass] Seiler’s Wave streetcar boondoggle, and now they are reversing Seiler’s despicable bullying of homeless people:

    [Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Ben] Sorensen held his usual office hours Friday, sending a map to what he called his “new satellite office” to those who had appointments. It directed them to the homeless camp, in the block south of Broward Boulevard, and east of Andrews Avenue. He said he’ll be back Monday and Tuesday. Sorensen, elected in March, is a founding member of Mission United, a United Way effort to reduce homelessness of military veterans. … Sorensen invited pastors and United Way case workers, to help connect people with help that’s available. He did it quietly, without alerting the media.

    “I think he wants to bring better visibility to the situation,” said Bob Swindell, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward Economic Development Alliance, noting that some people don’t realize “how critical the situation is.” … Swindell said the business community has a renewed focus on getting people into permanent housing. In the coming days, he said, a new Broward Business Council on Homelessness will be launched, with business leaders like Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation Inc., and James Donnelly, chairman of the Broward Workshop of business CEOs, involved. … “We can do better by these folks that need help,” Swindell said. “Forcing them to live in a park is not the solution.”

  5. Harry T says:

    Let’s see more candidates enter. The ones that are there are sorry.

    As for Eric Johnson, he is a tool of Barbara Miller, who got in so much.. (controversy)… at the School Board.

  6. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    #4 Publicity stunt…

  7. Tim Ross says:

    I count 549 LGBT activists in District 98. That is JUST activists. There are more voters. Davie has quite a few LGBT people.


    No doubt that is true. It is getting them to the polls and encouraging them to vote that is the problem.

    Also, don’t assume that all LSBTQ activists will vote for any one candidate.

  8. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Buddy.A resident just stated that Judy Stern should be basically expelled from doibg any business with the city and or shall never sit or be considered from any city boards etc. W/ emphasis on the Charter bd which she currently sits on.Well what do u all think.Come on Buddy work your magic…

  9. underwhelmed says:

    I’m not impressed with any of these choices. I am not sure who I am going to vote for, but I am certain I do not want a criminal defense attorney as a lawmaker.