Update: Election Day Tidbits


Watch out county commission.  Here comes Barbara Sharief.


Barbara Sharief

Sharief crushed the candidate of the establishment Angelo Castillo.

Castillo, a Pembroke Pines commissioner with plenty of government experience,  had the best resume of any commission candidate in the race.

What he didn’t have is the energy and drive of Sharief.

A self-made Miami-Dade County native and a Miramar commissioner, Sharief  has the potential to be a county commission game changer.

She kicked $115,000 into the race and raised only $6,300 as of early August. Her campaign was heavily self-funded.

So she owes no lobbyist or special interest her job.  She did it herself. That’s a good thing.

The founder and owner of a multi-million dollar health care business, Sharief knows something about budgets, job creation, economic development and marketing.

Barbara Sharief will bring a lot to the table.


One of the winners not on the ballot Tuesday was Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler.

Seiler was a winner when County Judge Edward Merrigan held on to his seat.  

This one was personal for Seiler. 

Merrigan’s wife and Seiler’s wife are sisters.  A good part of Merrigan’s campaign was run out of Seiler’s law office.  

Seiler had one thing going for him in the race. Merrigan was clearly the better qualified candidate.


You may not know much about Pam Bondi.

You will.

Take a look:


She’s telegenic, which is a nice way of saying she’s a hottie. She has 18-years of solid experience as a prosecutor locking up the bad guys.  She’s a newcomer to politics, so no one can tag her as a career politician.

She’s the Republican nominee for state Attorney General.   

Mark my words. Bondi has the potential of being next Republican star in Florida…maybe even the nation.   A veteran trial attorney, she is terrific on TV.

She only has to get past Democratic nominee Dan Gelber. He will have his hands full.

His tactic.  Gelber will portray her as too far right for average Floridians. 

Bondi is the darling of the NRA and was endorsed by Sarah Palin.  Will that sell in November?

Stay tuned.  But if Bondi wins, expect her to be the most visible attorney general this state has seen for years.


The biggest losers in the Tuesday election was the state Republican Party and its deep-pocket donors.

An outsider captured the gubernatorial nomination who doesn’t need them Rick Scott.

All it took was $50 million of his own money.    

Scott ran an anti-incumbency, anti-political establishment campaign.  He got no help from the party machine and will owe them nothing if he wins in November.

He is the GOP insiders’ nightmare.

Broward Democratic leader Mitch Ceasar predicted that many of the usual GOP donors will be lining up to back Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink starting Wednesday.  Maybe.

Scott has proven he doesn’t need their money.  He probably doesn’t need their help, either.

He did just fine without them riding the anti-establishment express.


School Board member Jennifer Gottlieb avoided a runoff Tuesday by the slightest possible margin.  She got 50.01 percent of the vote.

The Gottlieb household had another victory to celebrate.  Husband Ken Gottlieb won a seat on the county court.

Ken Gottlieb In The Florida House

Ken does not have great trial experience.  He has something else that will make him a good judge experience with people.

After all, the county court is called the peoples’ court because it hears small disputes and minor crimes.

He was a Hollywood city commissioner and a state House member.  You have to know something about average folks to be repeatedly re-elected.

He not only understands people.  He empathizes with them. 

The Ken I know is a genuinely nice guy.


Sunrise Mayor Roger Wishner suffered a stunning defeat Tuesday.

He only managed to get around 36 percent, while the victorious Mike Ryan got 55 percent.

Winning just over a third of the vote in a city where he has held office since 1987 is not just a loss for Wishner.  It is a total, absolute failure.  

One longtime political observer blamed it on Wishner’s support for a hotel and office center on the edge of the Everglades, combined with his backing construction of a garbage dump in the city.

It was the garbage dump project  — Wishner switched his position at the last minute to oppose it — which encouraged lawyer Ryan to run.

Also pushing Wishner out of the mayor’s seat were city police and fire fighters, unhappy with the way they are treated in city hall.

Don’t underestimate the opposition to Wishner from Commissioner Sheila Alu, who is so adept at spinning the media that she probably has various reporters on speed dial.

In an Only-In-Sunrise twist, Wishner doesn’t totally lose.  He goes back to a commission seat.  He had been elevated from his commission post temporarily and was running for a full term as mayor

The loser is Larry Sofield, who was filling Wishner’s old seat and now must leave office.


We all have various reasons to support candidates.  I have a reason very close to home to be celebrating stae Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff’s win in her state Senate GOP primary Tuesday.

My son, Aaron Nevins, is Bogdanoff’s aide. 

Although Bogdanoff still has to get through the general election, the senate seat leans Republican and she is heavily favored. That’s good news for me.

It means Aaron won’t be moving back home anytime soon!

Ellyn Bogdanoff and her aide, Aaron Nevins

15 Responses to “Update: Election Day Tidbits”

  1. Angelo Was Wrong says:

    Angelo died of too much foot-in-the-mouth complicated by too much Judy Stern.

  2. Reprobait1 says:

    Angelo self-destructed by lighting the Judy Stern match. Does this mean his wife is going back to work for the Stern machine again. Looks like the Stern machine got its power cable cut.

  3. Greg says:

    Future candidates take note: the real hero in Tuesday’s election is Barbara Miller. Every one of the candidates she helped behind the scenes and/or “consultants” that she has helped mentor won huge. Proof that thoughtful strategy, integrity and hard work generally beat gimics and dirty tricks. The electorate is not as stupid as some continue to hope.

    FROM BUDDY: I disagree. No consultant has the keys to victory. Most are legends in their own minds.
    The consultants have decidedly mixed results.
    Take David Brown. He lost the Steve Geller race on Tuesday, but won a first place in a School Board race with Nora Rupert.
    Judy Stern won some judicial races Tuesday, but lost the county commission race for Angelo Castillo.
    I’ve got nothing against Barbara Miller, but she has lost plenty of races over the years. She now spends much time in Italy and uses surrogates.
    I also believe most of these aging consultants are living in the past, depending way too much on condo and community leaders and ignoring the new media. The county is way overdue for a new generation of political consultants like the underrated and under the radar Ilana Entin or judicial race mavenMike Ahearn.

  4. watcher says:

    give the Sentinel and Mayo credit for sorting through all the noise and getting the judicial calls pretty much right…whether there will ever again be major challenges to incumbants, all judges have learned the lesson that they work for the people and that “black robe fever” is not acceptable….

  5. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:

    Dear Friends:

    Around 10 pm last night I contacted Vice Mayor Sharief to congratulate her on her victory and wish her well in November. My volunteers and I worked very hard to win this election. But in the end Barbara had the stronger campaign and without a doubt the results proved that.

    I’m sincerely happy for her and ask you to join me in wishing her great success. I have no regrets about my decision to run and am thankful for being given the opportunity to make my case directly to the people for creating a better Broward County.

    Many who didn’t vote for me shared nonetheless in the goals and objectives that I discussed. In that sense even though I didn’t get the most votes my campaign was successful in moving the agenda of the people forward and for that alone I would be deeply thankful. But I also got to meet thousands of people I never knew, made many new friends, and emerge from this campaign a better and stronger person. For all of that, I am thankful also.

    The important thing in an election is never who wins but what happens afterward. Broward County is in deep trouble. We suffer under the crushing weight of a difficult recession and that’s not the only problem we face. I dedicated my campaign to sharing a vision for a better future for Broward families and businesses. That work will continue for me irrespective of the outcome of any election.

    Let me take a moment to congratulate Shevrin Jones and to wish him and his family well. Shevrin and I got to know each other during this campaign. He is an extraordinary guy — bright, very personable and talented. His sincerity about doing good for others is impossible to ignore. Shevrin has a bright future in local leadership and my hope is that he will continue to follow that calling.

    All the best,


  6. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    About Pam Bondi…

    Maybe it’s my monitor, maybe it’s the picture, but this dame has the skin coloring of an Oompa Loompa.

  7. Floridan says:

    Very classy, Angelo.

  8. Polling 101 says:

    Buddy: Will you PLEASE stop giving her any credibility as a “political consultant”. Her “strategy” was directly to blame for the outcome – my dog could win that race with Wishner’s bank against Ryan’s measly spending – even with the independent stuff.
    And oh yeah, because I’m polling 101 just want to say that Kane was on the money with the Geller/Gunzburger poll but could he have had a worse analysis of the Wishner poll? Based on the results the writing was on the wall but Kane didn’t see it.

  9. Michael G. Ahearn, Esq says:


    Thanks for the props. In my opinion, Ilana is the next big consultant in this business.

    After yesterday, I feel that being a “judicial race maven” is the equivalent of being the CEO of a buggy whip company right before the car came out. No future in that business. The pendulum has swung back to a place where unless a sitting Judge has committed a grievous error and its public, few will risk the money and time to oppose a sitting Judge.

    As for those of us who had the pleasure of being a part of Team Merrigan, enough praise can’t be given to Judge Ed and his wife Tamara, for all their hard work and tireless efforts.

    My nominee for another winner from last night would be Bob DiLella from Strategic Message Design Group. Bob was the only person in Broward with an email list of 180,000 verified registered voters. Bob’s targeted email blasts on behalf of Judges Merrigan, O’Connor, Skolnik and Luzzo, brought a positive responses from the voters. I believe future campaigns will be focused more communication with voters through E-Mail, and social networking groups such a Facebook and Twitter.

    I have to congratulate Political Consultant, Amy Rose, Amy did a great job running the winning campaigns of Judges Luzzo, Pearlman and McCarthy.

    Buddy, keep up the good work.


  10. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Chas Sstevens, no genius. You know so much about Biondi your real name must be Willie Wanker.

  11. In the Know says:

    Judy Stern helped on Barbara Sharief’s campaign. This can be confirmed with Judy or Barabara.

  12. Go Barbara says:

    Judy Stern had absolutely no involvement in the Barbara Sharief campaign. In fact, Judy was the consultant for Angelo Castillo and was listed as the registered agent for all his cable tv buys…

  13. Reprobait1 says:

    @Go Barbara says:

    Stern and her people are such skanks.

  14. Judith Stern says:

    Buddy: I agree that this past Tuesday was a victory for the Broward County community with the successful election of the incumbent Judges. I must agree with both Doug Lyons and Sam Fields, that the real victory for this judicial election was a unique joining of the forces of Howard Finkelstein, and his speaking engagements, Mitch Ceasar and his guts for openly supporting the diverse members of the bench, Collins Forman and his incredible efforts of reaching out to the members of the legal community and the foresight of the AFL-CIO, PBA and Miami Herald for their early endorsements and outreach to their members and assistance in early vetting of the qualifications of all the candidates. If you take all these various factions, along with the hard work exhibited by each Judge on the campaign trail, you can educate the public and have a successful election cycle. Kudos to the Broward voters for “getting” the importance of bring forward qualified members of the Judiciary versus just voting for a name.

    Thank you Buddy, as well, for the coverage you too provided during this last cycle.


    Political Consultant Judy Stern should also take some credit for the incumbents’ win. She and her New Jersey direct mail consultant produced the most impressive advertising of this cycle.
    Their “magazine” style foldover ad had a palm card attached and easy to rip off. The ad was clean and contained endorsements from the union, cops and Herald.

    I loved it.

    Stern earned her spot as one of the top consultants in Broward.

  15. really? Really? says:

    Sorry to break up the lovefest but…
    It’s widely speculated and believed that Stern was helping Oliver Parker in his race against Ken Gillespie in order to get Parker’s support for Judy’s daughter running for House Dist 91, where Parker was a popular Mayor.
    It’s is also speculated and believed that Stern encouraged Rhoda Sokoloff to move to Judge Oconnor after she filed against Judge Rodriquez and later when Bob Nichols was thinking of running that he was encouraged to pick the other Carlos, Rebollo and not Rodriguez.
    Lets talk about Citizens for a Strong Judiciary… It was reported that underground emails were going out helping some but not all incumbents. Judy herself told Bill Gelin that the group was not doing a media blitz and the mail hit the next day. Judy lies again. It seems very simple, if Stern does not file a John Doe lawsuit to find out who sent those supposed phoney  emails then it would appear for whatever reason she doesn’t want anyone to know who was really behind the emails.