It’s A Safe Bet: Scott Israel Will Be Sheriff


I’ll make a bet now:  The next sheriff of Broward County will be Scott Israel

It’s all in the numbers.   The numbers are against incumbent Sheriff Al Lamberti.

It is as simple as this:

Israel is a Democrat.  Lamberti is a Republican.

As evidence, I only have to mention Arthur Hurley.
Arthur who?

Arthur Hurley is the candidate who almost became property appraiser in 2000.   Because Hurley was a Democrat.

Party is almost all that Hurley had going for him when he ran against the popular Bill Markham, a Republican.  The Democrat was unknown, had much less money than Markham and couldn’t stir an audience.

Because he was a Democrat, Hurley came within 1,323 votes of beating Markham.  That’s 1,323 out of more than 500,000 votes cast.

Markham, who had been elected countywide as a Republican eight times over more than three decades, was so shaken he became a Democrat in 2003 shortly before he died.

If a Broward institution like Markham almost lost to an unknown Democrat, how can Lamberti hope to win?

It’s in the numbers.  No Republican has won countywide in Broward since Markham’s razor thin victory. 

The popular Gov. Charlie Crist?

Crist lost Broward two years ago to the almost-invisible Democratic candidate Jim Davis by around 113,000 votes.  The governor won the statewide race by almost 350,000 votes, so Broward was clearly out of step.  
GOP Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson swamped his Democratic opponent Eric Copeland in 2006 by almost 650,000 votes.  Not in Broward, where the largely unknown Copeland won by over 100,000 votes.

Broward is the most Democratic county in Florida and one of the most Democratic in the nation.  It is almost impossible for a Republican to win here anymore.

Not impossible.  Almost impossible.

Lamberti will need a top campaign organization.  Frankly Republicans lack the campaign experience in Broward because they don’t often have serious races.

A troubling aspect of Lamberti’s campaign is that two leading Democrats told me they offered to help the sheriff and never got a call back.   

But Lamberti will have a lot of money, some stealth attack ads from a third-party “independent committee and the power of the incumbency.


It doesn’t matter that he has Judy Stern, the often-victorious political consultant, running his campaign (Although she did help him in the primary).

It doesn’t matter how much money Israel will have.

It doesn’t matter that he has a strong law enforcement background. 

Israel only has to be a Democrat.  Especially this year when Barack Obama’s campaign is working to turn out record numbers of Democrats.

I’ll bet Scott Israel will be the next sheriff.
I’ll bet my entire paycheck. 

Oh, just remember I’m retired from the Sun-Sentinel. I don’t get a paycheck. 

I’m not foolish enough to bet real money. Upsets can happen!

(’s Jim Kane will be conducting an exclusive poll of this race and others in Broward.  Look for the results here in the future.).


5 Responses to “It’s A Safe Bet: Scott Israel Will Be Sheriff”

  1. broward voter says:

    Basically correct. Although 70% of primary voters voted for someone OTHER than Scott Israel, the general election numbers will be too big for Lamberti to overcome.

  2. Ken Jenne says:

    I’m getting out soon and I want to get together with my pal, Al Lamberti. Maybe Sheriff Al can find a place for me in some private business we can establish.

  3. jt says:

    wait a se. while the primaries have been dominated by the condo crowd for years the opposite has been true in the general election, they vote for an ethinic name but more people vote in the general election and, if history rings true, the greater majority votes against the same ethinicity that dominates the primaries, lamberti will be the only republican vistory, israels name is too ethinic for many voters in broward, sorry, sam and buddy thats what i believe….

  4. Smarter than most of Broward says:

    That is the problem with America and in particular, this county. Look at the crime rate, the foreclosure rate, and the way Broward County has been run for years. If people vote just based on party affiliation then they should not vote at all. You should vote for who is best for the job, not just because he is a Democrat or Republican. Lamberti is “listed” as a Republican but I am sure he votes for people who are best for the job, not just for being Republican so he said he would not switch parties just for political gain. He said he wanted people to vote for him, not his party affiliation. Unlike Scott Israel, who switched from Republican after being one for so many years but now that he is running for Sheriff he switched. How convenient!!

  5. nat says:

    If A. lincoln ran as a republican against A. Hitler, democrat, Hitler would win in Broward.