Five Campaigns For Judge: In The Home Stretch And Broke




Absentee voting started in Broward County this week and that’s bad news for the five candidates for Group 15 in the Circuit Court.

Incumbent Circuit Judge Matt Destry and his four challengers’ campaigns are virtually broke. They are in the home stretch and largely out of money.




Matt Destry



Here is the list and what is left in their campaigns:

  • Haccord Curry Jr. — $6,300.  He is a State of Florida employee
  • Destry — $6,500. He is an incumbent judge.
  • Barbara Duffy — $5,500.  She runs her own legal practice.
  • Brian Greenwald — $12,000. He has his own legal practice.
  • Abbe Rifkin —  $5,600. She is Miami-Dade’s chief homicide prosecutor.

The Group 15 race is being watched carefully in legal circles because four lawyers are challenging an incumbent judge. Yet that attention has not helped pump much money into the campaigns.

The incumbent Destry spent roughly $50,000 to date, which is an infinitesimal amount for a countywide race in Broward.

Rifkin, who won the Sun-Sentinel endorsement, spent the second-highest amount at $12,500.

Compare Destry’s spending with the $64,057 that lawyer Lea Krauss has spent so far in the three-candidate Circuit Court Group 9 race. And Krauss has over $175,000 left in the bank.

Three Running To Earn More?

Three of the five candidates in Group 15 earned roughly $50,000 last year so becoming a judge would be a big financial boost. They are Curry, Duffy and Greenwald.

Destry earned $141,000 as a judge in 2015. Rifkin’s salary was $134,235 as a prosecutor and another $6,000 teaching at Florida International University.

With $91,503 in a bank account, Rifkin could loan herself money in the campaign’s final weeks.  Destry’s April financial disclosure indicates that he has no money in the bank.

Greenwald has a negative $50,000 net worth. Duffy has more than $275,000 in the bank and in a retirement account she could presumably spend.  Curry has roughly $45,000 in a retirement account.

The campaigns of all five candidates also have time to raise more money. However much of the money in the legal community, the traditional font of judicial campaign cash, has already been spent in this cycle.

12 Responses to “Five Campaigns For Judge: In The Home Stretch And Broke”

  1. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Rick Scott has already appointed way, WAY too many prosecutors as Broward County judges. Brian Greenwald is the one to vote for!

  2. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Yes political types say money is the mother’s milk of politics – I say it’s the poison. Judges and other candidates should not have to raise money directly or indirectly. Free mailings free media events SONE HOW CITIZENS UNITED HAS TO BE AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR FREE SPEECH WITHOUT CREATING A CLASS ON MONEYED CANDIDATES SQUEEZING OUT GOOD PEOPLE WITHOUT DEEP POCKETED FAMILIES FRIENDS AND BUSIBESS ALLIES.

  3. Two cents says:

    Money in a judicial race only comes into play when it’s a large sum. If a candidate has over $300,000 that amount will make a difference. Otherwise, it’s not very important. When all the candidates in one race have little funds- they are on equal footing with each other. No one has a greater advantage.

    Also, there’s no point in having $175,000 left in your account after the election. Spend it- so you guarantee your win.

  4. Judge Dumbass says:

    Great article, I just looked up Destry’s Form 6. No bank account listed and no cash assets. Judges, like all state employees, are paid via direct deposit. No way he does not have a bank account.

    This is very shady of Judge Destry. If a Judge cant truthfully answer a financial affidavit, how can he be trusted?

  5. Here and Now says:

    Duffy! Broward Born and Raised. Only practices in Broward. Don’t import from Dade! Duffy understands our communities, our needs and our standards. VOTE Duffy 8/30!

  6. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Barbara Duffy has spent her whole professional life as a prosecutor. She’s exactly the kind of judge Rick Scott would appoint. Duffy is the exact opposite of what would be appropriate for Broward County.

    Brian Greenwald is the far better choice!!

  7. just one vote says:

    So where to find objective and non-partisan sizing up of the candidates?
    Years ago the local Broward newspaper ‘The Daily Business Review’ wrote up succinct summaries on all judicial candidates.
    You needed a subscription but any voter wanting to be educated would be in the know.
    How about the DBR make those summaries available so we can vote for a challenger and be in the know?

  8. Here and Now says:

    Duffy started as a prosecutor-3 yrs at St Att ofc… a 20 yr PBA General Counsel, General Counsel to Hollywood AFSCME and then in private practice.
    Ha Ha Ha “Whole professional life” is stretching it.
    Where is Greenwald? I haven’t seen him at one Judicial Forum, does he really want the job?
    Duffy Broward Born and Raised, understands Broward and its expectation and standards.

  9. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @8 – Prosecutors are advocates for cops. By your own count, Duffy spent 23 years advocating for cops. I think 23 years pretty much qualifies as her whole professional life! Duffy is a Rick Scott judicial candidate and is certainly NOT what Broward County needs in a judge!!

    Brian Greenwald will be a great addition to the judiciary. We need many more judges like him.

  10. Here and Now says:

    Duffy was a labor attorney for the PBA. Hired by the PBA. NOT SCOTT. SCOTT wasn’t even in officer 20 years ago. Brian Greenwald has nothing on her.
    Duffy is Broward Born and Raised, not born with a silver spoon in her mouth and does and will continue to treat all people fairly.
    Greenwald can’t even show up at on the judicial campaign circuit. Kinda like Destry can’t show up in court on time.

  11. Here and Now says:

    In April 2008, Greenwald was confronted in a road rage incident on Broward Boulevard in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Greenwald, who had a concealed carry permit, rolled up his window and showed his gun to the other motorist, who was yelling at him. The motorist backed off and both parties called 911. Police allowed Greenwald to keep his weapon, and the Broward State Attorney’s Office declined to charge him.


    The operative words in this comment are “was confronted.” Greenwald was fearful the other driver was going to harm him. He was within his rights to get his gun out of his glovebox and hold it.

  12. here and Now says:

    Actually, the more thought provoking issue is why would the situation be allowed to escalate to the point of needing to display a gun. Back off, let them drive away. Who, in South Florida, has not been involved in a road rage incident.
    Its a matter of Judgement.
    Now lets give him a gavel – sometimes just as powerful as a gun.


    I’m not sure why he pulled the gun except he felt threatened. Maybe the other driver cut him off or boxed him in. I have no idea. If it happened to me I would attempt to drive away. I would try to avoid confrontation. I don’t know enough about the incident with him to judge whether he had no choice or pulling the gun was gratuitous.