Former Sheriff’s Candidate Passed Over For Job


The cop who almost became Broward sheriff, almost became Gainesville’s police chief.

But close is only good in horseshoes. 

Richard Lemack, the former assistant city manager of Hollywood and previous assistant police chief of the same city, was passed over when the new chief of police for Gainesville was named earlier this month.

Lemack had been one of five finalists.  He shouldn’t fret, since none of the five were picked.

Gainesville City Manager Russ Blackburn threw out the list of applicants and instead chose the interim chief Tony Jones.

Jones, a 34-year veteran of the Gainesville force,  retired a few years ago with the rank of captain. Blackburn brought him back in July as interim chief.

According to the Gainesville Sun, Jones said at the time he wasn’t interested in the permanent job.

I guess he changed his mind.

Lemark lost a close race for the Democratic primary for sheriff to Scott Israel last year 30.8 to 31.7 percent.  His campaign spent $180,000 and he had long-time consultant Barbara Miller on his side, proving money and experienced campaign help isn’t always the sure route to victory.

4 Responses to “Former Sheriff’s Candidate Passed Over For Job”

  1. Broward voter says:

    Hate to re-hash this one again, but Lemack would have beat Lamberti. Israel won the primary based on absentees and early voting, but the damage had been done by the time election day came.

  2. Lemack Beat Himself says:

    Lemack ran an dirty race against Israel, and while he might have had a better chance to beat Lamberti, he never got that far. He drained his Democratic opponent to the point where the Republican won. So a more accurate statement than Lemack had a better chance of beating Lamberti is that Lemack was the best thing that ever happened to Lamberti.

  3. Resident says:

    When I went to candidates debates, I didn’t know any of the candidates till I got there. From the democrats, Israel, while weak, presented much better than Lemack. I didn’t like what Lemack said, or how he handled himself. Israel appeared to be qualified, but with a lot of questions.

    There were several other candidates, and only one other was even worth noting, though his name escapes me (I think he used to work for the FBI).

    The problem was at the same debate Lamberti came off as the best qualified candidate of all of them. That’s why he won. People looked beyond the politics and picked the best choice.

    Truly I don’t know the philosophical differences between a democratic and republican police officer, and probably there shouldn’t be. Public Safety shouldn’t be partisan, it should be effective.

  4. Take Politics Out of Sheriff says:

    If you want to take the politics out of BSO, then you appoint a sheriff for a term of say 5-7 years. The county commission hires and the county can renew that term or not. But they can’t fire during the term unless for cause.

    Why the county commission? Because that’s where the BSO budget comes from, that’s why. Who else? That is how they hire the auditor now and that person is much more independent. Same goes for this position.

    Want to make it political? Elect the sheriff and you will get politics instantly. Partisan and otherwise.