Do We Want To Elect Another Robert Lockwood?



He’s baaaack!  Lockwood is running for Clerk of the Courts again.

No, not Robert E. Lockwood. He died 12 years ago after serving as clerk 24 years.

The new version is Robert R. Lockwood, a Fort Lauderdale attorney who is running for clerk this year.

It is doubtful that many voters remember the original Lockwood, Robert E.

He was best known for leading any audience he could find in the Pledge of Allegiance.  He did this for almost a generation.

His heartfelt Pledge and not his management style is what anybody should remember him.

Robert E. Lockwood was lifted out of obscurity by former Sheriff Ed Stack to run for clerk in 1976.

This story may be apocryphal:

The political strongman of Broward at the time, Stack was asked whom he would have on the Democratic ticket to run for clerk.

“I could run anybody,” the sheriff quipped.  “Even my insurance man.”

Sure enough, Stack found his life insurance salesman Lockwood’s business card and called him.  And he got Lockwood him to run.

Lockwood was somewhat of a disaster.

His filing system was a catastrophe, with case files filling the courthouse hallways. He was constantly fighting audits that claimed he mismanaged the office. He misplaced money, overspent and overcharged tens of thousands filing law suits.

He was charged in civil suits with racial discrimination.

But he was a nice guy.  And if he didn’t know how to run the clerk’s office, he knew what was important to a politician: How to get elected.

With the tenacity of a former insurance salesman, he campaigned constantly.

He went to every meeting. He shook every hand. He begged for votes everywhere.

And he won election after election until he died of cancer at 78.

He left a mess behind.

It took Clerk Howard Forman years just to try to catch up. Critics would say Forman hasn’t modernized the office enough.

Do we want to go back to a Lockwood?

I haven’t met Robert R. Lockwood so I don’t know.

I do know that if he believes he will win votes by having the Lockwood name, he better rethink that one…and maybe change his name.

Because anybody who remembers the original Lockwood and the way he ran the clerk’s office will shudder at returning to those Bad Ol’ Days.

14 Responses to “Do We Want To Elect Another Robert Lockwood?”

  1. Whack-a-mole says:

    Shutter? You mean they’ll close the Clerk’s office? Or do you mean ‘shudder,’ as in to shake in fear?

    And isn’t it “Bad Ol’ Days” — with the apostrophe serving in place of the omitted “d?”

    Who’s editing this stuff these days?

    Apparently you are editing it these days. Thanks for the help.

  2. sidelines says:

    If Forman runs again he has my vote. He has managed to run that dept. with less every year since elected.

  3. NoseBleedSeats says:

    Howard Forman’s girl Vanessa rocks that whole office. Buddy she’s fine! Howie’s got my vote on the strength of that fine piece of …Rock on Howie!!!!!

  4. Wayne Arnold says:

    Bob (the Clerk) Lockwood stuck with his friends and his friends stuck with him. The voters of Broward County kept him in office for 24 years until his untimely death. I believe he would still be the Clerk of The Court Today if he were alive. Lets see that nice and dedicated and honest public servant would be a young 90 and he would still be lovin every minute of the job.

  5. Yer Not Kidding says:

    It’s true – Forman hasn’t modernized the office enough. Still a long way to go!

  6. Wranglr says:

    Until Mike Satz is removed the entire court system will remain in the year 1950.

  7. vivi says:

    Howard forman is doing good job. I dont see someone Als that Raining for this office.

  8. Dan Reynolds says:

    Shortly after I was elected to lead the Broward AFL-CIO Clerk Lockwood asked if he could lead the pledge at our annual Labor Ball. Thinking it an appropriate role for the Clerk I agreed. The night of the Ball I called on the Clerk to come up to the dais and lead us in the pledge. Looking around we realized the staff had forgotten to mount the American flag. Unfazed the Clerk reached into his wallet and unfolded a small American flag held it aloft and went on with the pledge.

    Quite a character and always a gentleman he was nevertheless a poor Clerk.

    BTW Howard Forman leads us in the pledge to this day.

  9. local says:

    FYI everyone, this “new” Lockwood is NO RELATION to the deceased. He is a very young, slightly arrogant, good looking ex State Attorney thinking he can change things because he knows how to use facebook. He is one lucky guy though since most people wont realize this and vote for his NAME.
    Now we’ve never seen that before in this county have we.

  10. Truthiness says:

    Don’t really think this “new” Lockwood will gain any traction from his name. Heck, a majority of voters cannot name both of the current US Senators … let alone recall the name of a local Clerk who died a dozen years ago.

    Wanna know how low-profile the Clerk’s job is in the mind of voters? See if you can name the person who was Clerk of Courts after Lockwood, and was defeated by Forman? If you are like 95% of voters, you cannot name him (and don’t use Google to look up his name)! The Lockwood name is worth about as much as running for Broward Supervisor of Elections today with the last name of Gates (as in Easter Lilly Gates).

  11. AJ says:

    Robert Lockwood is not running on his name, but rather running on his character and enthusiam that a young clerk could bring to this simply outdated system.

  12. Gretchen Thompson says:

    Is this Lockwood related to the former one?

  13. Hog says:

    Forman is a nice guy, but does anyone honestly think the clerk’s office is even decently, let alone well, run?

    New blood would be a good thing on many, many levels. Here’s to Lockwood the Younger; may he pull off the long-shot.

  14. Dan Reynolds says:

    @ Truthiness says: Ed Kennedy