Lauderhill Mayor Considering County Commission


Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan is exploring a race for county commission.


Richard Kaplan


Kaplan, a probate attorney with an advanced degree in taxation, has been on the Lauderhill commission since 1988.  He has been mayor since 1998.

The mayor currently lives in District One.

If Kaplan runs in the 2012 Democratic primary, he will be facing his colleague, Lauderhill Commissioner Howard Berger.   Sunrise Commissioner Sheila Alu is also running.

Some believe Alu, a prosecutor, is the handpicked candidate of County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman.   Lieberman has held the seat since 1996 and is term limited out.

Berger has been a fixture in Lauderhill City Hall since 1984, when he was first elected.  He served some of his time as a commissioner with Lieberman, a commissioner and mayor of Lauderhill before moving up to the county.

Alu styles herself as a reformer.  Still, that has not stopped her from calling local powerbrokers for support.

Berger, who put $80,000 of his own money into the campaign, has been making the same calls.

All three live at the southern end of District 1 and could be left out by the current redistricting.  It is widely assumed in politics that Lieberman will attempt to protect Alu by carving Lauderhill out of the district.

I asked Kaplan about his possible race and the upcoming redistricting. Here is his e-mail to



This was a surprise to hear from you on this, but as always I try to give people and you an honest answer.

By the way, I have been receiving calls from quite a few people on this point, but you are the first reporter to ask.

So you know, I am seriously considering it and the point that you make about reapportionment is valid.  At this time I have not made a decision, and presently there is nothing, beyond my family and personal future desired direction, that is stopping me from running if I want to, including redistricting or potential opponents.

As far as the redistricting goes I can’t answer for Howard.  However, if they gerrymander me out of district 1 that gives me two options if I want to run.  First, move into the district and two run for the district that I am presently living in. I don’t have answer for that now.

My wife and I are basically empty nesters and moving isn’t a big deal, though an inconvenience and we love our neighborhood and house.  Also, I would love to represent directly those that I have been serving.  But, in my many appointments (MPO, SEFTC, etc.), I have been representing a lot more than Lauderhill for a very long time.

After so many years, many have encourage me to run from throughout the county, not necessarily just from Lauderhill.  It is a great compliment.  I never ran for elected office as a career (it was the furthest thing from my mind and actually I surprised I am still doing it), and if I stopped tomorrow I would be more than satisfied that I did the best that I could while I served.  I would also never feel shortchanged.

Personally, I feel that if the public feels that they were denied the ability to vote someone in of their choosing due to a political deal, they very well could reject the anointed candidate.  So I would think the County Commission would be careful about redistricting.  Besides I would think they have a lot more issues to concern themselves with than going out of their way to keep me off the County Commission, or not (I think have done it before)?  Don’t know.  I don’t play that political game.

Let me know if I can do anything else for you.


17 Responses to “Lauderhill Mayor Considering County Commission”

  1. Harold T says:

    Kaplan would be great. We need a better choice. Nobody I know is impressed with Alu or Berger.

  2. Give Me A Break says:

    Kaplan….go ahead and run so we can DEFEAT you….you have won in Lauderhill because no credible person has taken you out…WE WILL THIS TIME

  3. anonymous says:

    Watch out. Alu might wear a wire on the dais. I don’t trust her

  4. Oy vey says:

    Kaplan is a blow hard egoist. That said, he is by far the better choice than Alu or Berger. It really is going to come down to what the district looks like after redistricting.

    If Lauderhill is out he won’t have his base of support. But, most people feel as I do that Alu is a crazy *** [rhymes with witch] and would look for an alternative.

    At this point, it remains to be seen who else will enter that race. God help us all.

  5. Ted says:

    As a former civics teacher, I feel a need to correct people when they use the terms “reapportionment” and “redistricting” interchangeably.

    Reapportionment is only the process for reassigning the number of congressional seats to each of the states after each census.

    Redistricting is the process of redrawing any political boundaries.

  6. Smart Move says:

    He would be a formidable candidate. Blow hard and egoism is part of what you get from any A-type personality or leader. The fleas come with the dog and in leaders those traits offer a mix of benefits and failures. The last thing we look for in leaders is lack of strong character. At the same time, every leader needs to be aware and keep themselves in constant check because the very traits that make them strong leaders can be their undoing. More important is to focus on what that person brings to the mix of people they would join. We are going to have change on that committee. What kinds of traits will be lost? Which need replacing? Who offers that best mix? Intelligent votes will be cast on that basis, not some silly popularity contest.

  7. Smart Move says:

    Ted you make a technical point worth mentioning. But in reality it is a difference without a distinction because the dynamics and stakes involved are about the same.

  8. Local Lawyer says:

    I’m still betting all of Lauderhill winds up in District 9 (Dale Holeness.)

  9. Ilene's Bitch says:

    Alu is no reformer. She is being run by Ilene Lieberman and Dan Lewis.

    You never read about Lauderhill in the newspaper.

  10. Dirk says:

    The Sun-Sentinel headline on August 17 is what Buddy is talking about. It is “Sunrise Commissioner Sheila Alu Gets Lieberman’s “Blessing” To Run For Commission”

  11. Alu for County Mayor says:

    What? No reformer? Are you nuts?

    Hates lobbyists!

    Solid on environment!

    Solid on Trash!

    Solid on education!

    She will never remain silent. that’s why you are so worried!

  12. Resident says:

    What an ego. Not even County Commissioner and already pushing for County Mayor?

    It is so easy to say “Solid” on anything, but the record is so lacking. I would love to do a comparison of what actually Alu and Kaplan have accomplished, what committees they have sat on and chaired, what they have produced and created, and what independent recognition, honors, and awards each has received.

    The difference are astounding, and embarrassing to Alu.

    One point, I agree she will never be silent. That is why she has been such an antagonist, and works so poorly with her colleagues. Not just in Sunrise but everywhere, including I expect the State Prosecutors office. However, without really accomplishing anything, particularly. No one, even many of her residents, trust her.

    It’s not a strong point for her, but actually one of her weakest.

    Final point, hates lobbyist. She goes to Mike Satz, Lieberman, hires Dan Lewis, and is trying to raise money from those say special interest groups she “hates.” I can only see what type of campaign she is going to have to run. Just like so many others that have turned off the public. Same S**T different Channel. Says it all.

  13. Sunrise Resident says:

    Resident makes some good points.

    Alu is a disaster! She is a big phony. A reformer who spends her nights hanging around lobbyists and people like Dan Lewis. Some reformer.

    Sunrise has constant fighting and questionable deals. What a record!

  14. happyhooker says:

    Alu hates lobbyists? What about Dave Ericks-she stole him away from his Tally girlfriend (for a stint)

  15. Sunrise Observer says:

    Alu for County Mayor has it right. She performed very strongly in her most recent election, and for good reason. She is often the first one with the correct answer to difficult policy issues, a strong contrast to some of her clueless colleagues on the Sunrise Commission. Alu will be an excellent County Commissioner.

  16. Loki says:

    No one is worried about Alu running they are glad that she is. Running right out of sunrise that is she will get support to leave . But I’m not so sure she will get county. We all know the stories and I have a feeling that there are still some stories out there floating around. I won’t vote for her that’s for sure I would vote for Mayor Kaplan though pure and simply because. I would hate all of broward county to have to deal with the viper I

  17. resident says:

    Really I thinks her wind just blows in all the right directions. The best thing I have seen her do recently is to sit silently for once. She is about as necessary as Mayor Wishner. I think the sun will rise and set in the city of sunrise wether she is there or not. Let her go to county I’m all for it she will be as popular there as she is in the sao office. We all know that everyone just loves her there. As much as we love Mayor Wishner in sunrise ooooh that’s right he is out of a job completely.