Update: Gunzburger Elected Broward Mayor


Just months after her fellow county commissioners wanted to censure her, Sue Gunzburger was elected mayor Tuesday.

Becoming mayor was an amazing achievement for Gunzburger, caping a year of victories for the veteran politician.

She fought off a tough, nasty and expensive campaign challenge from former state Sen. Steve Geller. She fought off the open opposition from her colleagues to her re-election.

The vote to name her mayor by fellow commissioners — four of the nine were sworn-in Tuesday — was unanimous.

She was nominated as mayor by Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, who moved to censure Gunzburger in the middle of in August.

Here is the Sun-Sentinel from August 10:

“Commissioners had broken into shouting, and Commissioner Kristin Jacobs was in tears, as they fought with Gunzburger over her election season allegations. Gunzburger told voters that County Attorney Jeff Newton conspired with other commissioners to torpedo ethics reform.

“I wrestled with this. I cried over this, over whether to take this step,” Commissioner Kristin Jacobs said. She had made the motion earlier to publicly censure Gunzburger. She said it wasn’t easy to do this to “someone I’ve cared about for a very long time.”

The move to censure Gunzburger failed.  And despite support by other commissioners for Geller — Jacobs comments attacking Gunzburger were featured in Geller campaign ads — Gunzburger won a landslide victory.

Tuesday was time for Jacobs and the three other incumbents to eat humble pie.

A sometimes-prickly grandmother first elected in 1992, Gunzburger thanked her campaign team that helped her win perhaps Broward’s toughest race this year.

Barbara Miller, the veteran south Broward political operative and sometimes-lobbyist, was recognized by Gunzburger for supervising the grass roots operation.  Miller was helped by Amy Rose and Ilana Entin, two of the top talented young consultants in Broward.

Gunzburger also thanked attorney and Browardbeat.com columnist Sam Fields, a long-time family friend who offered advise to the campaign. 

She praised son Ron Gunzburger for putting her victory together.  I agree with Sue and believe Ron ran one of the most pitch perfect campaigns I have ever seen in Broward

And she thanked her late husband Gerry Gunzburger, who died in the early days of the two-year long campaign. 

“He was my number one supporter,” she said, tears welling up in her eyes and her voice breaking.  

Gunzburger said she promised Gerry on his death bed that she would continue the race and win. 

“Jerry, I kept my promise,” Gunzburger said.  

10 Responses to “Update: Gunzburger Elected Broward Mayor”

  1. Senator John Blutarsky says:

    Buddy, fix the clock that time stamps these comments. Daylight Standard Time took effect 11/7. PS, I am disappointed Kristin nominated her. I guess she didn’t want Rodstrom as mayor.

  2. why?! says:

    Why?! Why do we keep electing to office people like this? Career politicians who only do what they want, not what We the People want. Time for this lady to take a trip back to her home planet of Zorgon, planet of corrupt politicians.

  3. Geller Lies says:

    Thank God that Sue got elected otherwise Geller would be hanging a for sale sign on the county commission today.

  4. Charlotte Brownfart says:

    Nice to see the recent tradition of Broward County having feminine mayors continuing.

  5. Willie Stark says:

    Congratulations Sue. Finally we have a mayor with balls.

  6. Floridan says:

    Buddy, re your statement ” And despite support by other commissioners for Geller — Jacobs comments attacking Gunzburger were featured in Geller campaign ads. . . ”

    I don’t believe Jacobs formally supported Geller (actually, I don’t think she even informally supported him); rather, Geller appropriated her public comments to attack Gunzberger.

  7. dems for dollars says:

    Jacobs was passed over for Lori Parrish some time ago, but Parrish was filling in for Jim Scott who was a Republican and therefore they didn’t want to pick him.


    Absolutely correct! Thanks for the reminder.

    Kristin Jacobs was vice chair going into the 2001 commission election for chair in November.

    Instead, the chair went to Lori Parrish.

    Commissioners contended they needed a seasoned leader in times of terrorism and economic problems (sound familiar?). Parrish had been on the commission since 1988, I believe, and had been commission chair twice before. Jacobs was elected in 1998.

    The political reason was that John Rodstrom, who was Jacobs’ mentor and helped get her elected, broke with her over some of her votes. I seem to remember he was annoyed about her position on some bond issue and a vote on Port Everglades. Rodstrom was the swing vote that elected Parrish chair 5-4.

    There was a buzz about Republican Jim Scott at the time, but he had only been on the commission about one year. Still, the always forward-thinking Democratic Party clubs put pressure on the Democratic commission not to even consider Scott. God Forbid, we should have the former President of the Florida Senate as a commission chair!

  8. Only Norm says:

    I think it was only Abramowitz that got passed up in line to be chair or mayor. Buddy is that right?


    Here is what I remember:

    In 1998, the commission was picking the vice chair. That was the automatic route to chair, the name for the mayor’s job then.

    Norm Abramowitz was passed over for vice chair shortly after the 1998 election in favor of Sue Gunzburger. Gunzburger became the chair the following year.

    The reason for Gunzburger’s approval was to punish Scott Cowan, who lost control of the commission majority in the 1998 election with the election of Kristin Jacobs over Sylvia Poitier.

    Gunzburger was voted in by the anti-Cowan faction of Ilene Lieberman, John Rodstrom, Gunzburger and Jacobs.

  9. The Truth says:

    Sue Gunzburger is the appropriate mayor as the commission attempts to adhere to the new ethics law because she has been the only one who lobbied for the law for years.

    Now we all wait for Mike Satz to do something about Ilene Lieberman and Stacy Ritter to finally clean up the commission.

  10. City Activist Robert walsh says:

    I was actually surprised that no one gave Mayor Gunzburger a hard time. probably w/ the new ones was a losing battle. i thought they would have given to Mr.rodstrom,however he got Vice Mayor which also has a nice ring to it. As far as the County Att. filing against the term limits deal I say kudos it shows what the residents voted for takes center stage. Mr. Rodstrom should support the County Att. you never want to offend the voter(he knows this) I personally did not like all the under handed issues,no one knows Plantiff Bill Telli just a concerned neighbor(come on).Then you have one of the most prominent City Att. taking the case(Scherer) again come on. Did you know they even had the audacity to get Scherer legal expenses paid,I didn’t see that in Judge Philips ruling. This will be heard on the Appealate level and if it is struck down at least we the voter some what prevailed. I would think twice if this sticks to Rodstrom/Lieberman remember Mayor Bloomberg did the same thing and it nearly cost him the election. Voters do not liked to be trumped. Besides Vice Mayor Rodstrom petion to have the Charter changed and run for County Mayor,all this switching seats causes caos,havoc. And to appointed Comm. Jones you had a hell of a nerve to give Torey what his face your former aide who at 26 is the highest paid Ast. Come on(who is he blowen?) I mean really look how this looks. Then Junior over at the Commission New comer Com.Shariff picks him up as her aide(bad move) been there not even 24 hours and you allready have a cloud over your head. I’m sorry he is way over paid and this as caused severe anomisty amongs the ranks.(shame) Again this is the reason for the most part why you lost(jones) .whatever its not Jones or Shariff thats paying this overpriced Aide its me and you the tax payer. Say what you want about me enemies etc. at least Robert Walsh is and has alwayds been gainfully employed. No one pays my bills but me.. Call it like I see it,offended to bad…