“Help Me Howard” Slow To Begin Re-Election







Amid all the Broward’s 2016 candidates rushing to open their campaigns prior to The Holidays there is one significance absence: Public Defender “Help Me Howard” Finkelstein.

That’s not unusual, Finkelstein says.

The diminutive, pony-tailed Public Defender and host of 7News Miami’s “Help Me Howard” legal advice feature, he says he generally doesn’t open his campaigns until the Election Year begins. Maybe in January.


Howard Finkelstein (courtesy of the Floridabulldog.org)


Most candidates open campaigns early to build name ID and collect money.  Finkelstein figures he doesn’t need either…at this point.

First elected in 2004 unopposed, Finkelstein has not had much opposition in the past due to his unprecedented ID from television and his heavy almost constant speaking schedule.

Potential Finkelstein opponents may remember the only time he had semi-serious challengers. It was 2008.

He faced two opponents that year – Alex Arreaza in the Democratic primary and Gary Ostrow, a Republican, in the general.

Finkelstein crushed Arreaza in the primary with 82 percent of the vote. There was no Republican opponent by the time of the General Election since Ostrow dropped out after a cocaine possession arrest at Tallahassee airport during the campaign.

“Help Me Howard” sums up his campaign philosophy in an e-mail this way:

“I don’t really run a money campaign. I just keep doing what I have been for past 25 years, speaking to different groups a few times a week. Some are political groups others are charities and civic groups. Not sure what I would do with a lot of money if I raised it…go on TV?  Been doing that a few times a week for last 20 years.”

Arreaza tried to get Finkelstein tossed off “Help Me Howard” for the duration of the campaign. It didn’t work.

“The law says because I have been doing it for so many years I need not be taken off ….The show is in its 20th year,” he wrote. “That said, we never use it for any political advantage of any kind.”

Part of 7News Miami’s top-rated news, “Help Me Howard” is a consumer help feature.  

A recent show involved a woman who had a dispute with an art auctioneer. That’s real far from politics, but keeps Finkelstein’s name and face in front of the public.

In an election where most voters simply vote for the candidate whose name they recognize, “Help Me Howard” would be incredibly hard to beat.




10 Responses to ““Help Me Howard” Slow To Begin Re-Election”

  1. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Elected Public Defenders are like proprietors of any kind of blog, they do it out of love and are honest n make no money or they are media whores who sell themselves out to loathsome special crooked interests. Mr Finkelstein does a necessary job in a democracy with little or no financial reward a helpful local program Why would anybody want to rain on his parade? Dont fix something that aint broken

  2. zigy says:

    the real truth is Howie wants to be state attorney the announcement will come soon be prepared

  3. Las Olas Lawyer says:

    Help Me also benefits from the fact that almost nobody would want the job. You are controlled by the whims of the Legislature that funds the office. Any decent lawyer Help Me’s age can make more money. The job is isn’t well paid for a good lawyer.

  4. History repeats itself says:

    Howard is not running for SAO, it will be Gordon Weeks. Add in the candidacy of Theresa Williams and it is going to get really interesting.

    Last time Alan Jean went into an August primary with a white Jewish male, “sure thing” candidate, he came in last and the black male and only female candidate went onto the general election.

  5. Really says:

    Finkelstein isn’t satisfied being public defender. He wants to be the powerbroker of the courthouse.
    His public fights with the judges are legendary. He has several of his APDs running for judge and he is paying them while they campaign. He also guarantees their jobs if they lose.

  6. Disgusted says:

    Broward is officially an insane asylum. Gordon Weekes for SA? Pluhlease….he is a lying bigot.

  7. Disgusted says:

    Howard is a pandering, useless, media whore you uses tax dollars to self promote. That is why the PD office is hemorrhaging qualified attorneys.

  8. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    This is a democracy. If Mr Finkelstein or anyone else in elected office is lousey but not breaking the law RUN AGAINST THEM or run a better person against them! BUT ATTACKING ELECTED OFFICIALS or others with FAKE NAMES IS NIGHTCRAWLING the lowest form of live form

  9. Howard the Moron says:

    I have no desire to be an elected pandering official who only wants to release criminals back into society. You can call it night-crawling all you want, but I enjoy my LAW ABIDING FREEDOM. If I put my name out there, I would be attacked. That is what the criminal loving cowards do. It is my right to post what and how I want.

  10. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    No Howard the Moron there is No Right to Post! Mr. Nevins grants people the PRIVILEGE of posting on HIS PRIVATE BLOG. It is amazing how right wingers preach about American Rights and Law but ARE MORONIC in NOT knowing or understanding them UNLIKE Counsellor Fields who I may disagree with BUT KNOWS THE LAW N ITS MEANING N INTENT!