Gerrymander! County Commission Carves Out A Seat For State Rep. Marty Kiar



State Rep. Marty Kiar of Davie is “extremely likely” to run for the Broward County Commission after commissioners on Tuesday gerrymandered District 1 to include Kiar’s home.

The opportunity for Kiar suddenly surfaced late Tuesday when commissioners suddenly placed a tiny sliver of northwest Davie in District 1.  That section just happens to include Kiar’s home.

Districting boundary lines are not drawn by accident at the county commission. Somebody wants Kiar in the race, either the Commissioners Lieberman and Stacy Ritter who redrew the district or those behind the scenes…or both.

Sources say both commissioners — along with almost everybody in Broward’s political world — like Kiar because he is genuine mensch — Yiddish for an honorable, likeable person.

The last obstacle to Kiar running melted today when state Rep. Franklin Sands of Weston decided to stay in the race for School Board. Kiar said he would stay out of any commission race for West Broward’s District 1 if Sands decided to run.

West Broward’s District 1 should be open next year because the commissioner who now holds the seat is term limited out.

But Commissioner Ilene Lieberman might throw a monkey wrench in Kiar plans. I’m told by political insiders that Lieberman is backing off her flat refusal to run again if the Florida Supreme Court tosses out the term limit law. I think such a scenario is highly unlikely.

Kiar is currently running for state Senate, but the seat was redistricted to include very little of Broward and a lot of Palm Beach County.

In addition, Kiar’s close friend and Tallahassee roommate state Rep. Joe Abruzzo, D-Wellington, is making noise about running for the district.  Kiar said flatly he will not run against Abruzzo.

Another factor keeping Kiar in Broward is his young family.  He has a wife and a two-year old.  A county commissioner sleeps home every night rather than spend part of the year in Tallahassee.

Not Worried

 Democrats already campaigning for the County Commission seat are not worried about Kiar or Sands.

Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan, whose home is in the new district, said, “I’m already out there talking to people, passing out literature.”

Lauderhill Vice Mayor Howard Berger, who also lives in District 1, is running in the Democratic primary, too.   So is Willie F. Roberson Jr., a Northwest Fort Lauderdale resident who doesn’t appear to live in the district. Sunrise Commissioner Sheila Alu dropped out of the race earlier.

Sands decision was in part made because his step-son Alex Heckler is a well-known lobbyist at the Government Center. Although there is absolutely no evidence that Sands would play favorites during commission votes,  he didn’t not want any allegations about his step-son to spoil his spotless reputation.

The final approved county map is here.

48 Responses to “Gerrymander! County Commission Carves Out A Seat For State Rep. Marty Kiar”

  1. Bob says:

    Actually, this would be a very good district for either Kiar or Sands. Both have been representing the three largest cities in the district for years in the state house. Also, except for the tiny sliver of Lauderhill, the district is split between Kiar and Sands House seats. So both will have much better name recognition then the Lauderhill candidates. Also, both are hard campaigners and big fundraisers. I know as a fact both have well over a hundred thousand dollars that can be transferred to this race already and since they won’t run against each other, logic easily shows that either Kiar or Sands will win.

  2. Jeanne says:

    It would be a shame is we lose Marty Kiar in Tallahassee. He has been a tireless voice of reason in the education reform debate.

  3. get a life! says:

    You mean to tell me Lieberman drew Hazell Rogers out of her district??!!

  4. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    No shit Sherlock in regards to Comm.Lieberman will run again if term limits are overturned. You know what lady you are so full of shit you stink. Its time for a Delegation. come clean red, for th elast time. Of course she will run again, but all year long she ha s been digging at John Rodstrom for pursueing this. They all know how I feel about this but try, try, try.I mean and she ‘s not the only one Gunzburger will go no where either. That one there if Rodstrom’s att.sherer prevails, she run until she’s 100,but watch att.Drew Myers come from behind. Go get them Drew.

  5. what about says:

    Heckler is lobbies the school board, I guess its ok to have a question of how Franklin will vote their instead of the CC. Maybe Heckler and his daddy can go out on the SS Chait and determine if a conflict exists.

  6. Super Voter says:

    While Kiar may be a really nice guy I hear, how the district was created for him just shows that he is part of the system we don’t want. Sound almost like a carpetbagger.

    The County Commission is all about self interest and politics. As Commissioner Ritter said when the districts were debated and she produced this map, she said something about not fooling ourselves, every county commissioner has their own personal political agenda.

    Why would someone support a person that is part of that system that its about serving themselves and not the public?

    Besides, even though there is a senate map out, it doesn’t mean it is the final map. What happens if a senate district is created in March? Does that mean Kiar would pick up and go back for the senate race? Probably.

    FROM BUDDY:You are assuming that Kiar had a part in creating the district. I don’t make such assumptions.

  7. Edwin Bryce says:

    I hear Chip LaMarca is upset that his party didn’t help him in the redrawn district. To bad that they didn’t renumber it as well. We could have had LaMarca out in 12. He is nothing but a waste and should have stayed in Lauderdale Lakes.

  8. In the Know says:

    The district 1 race won’t be a slam dunk for Kiar under any circumstances. He has no base in Sunrise, Plantation or Lauderhill. He also must call each and every campaign donor and request permission to keep their contributions for the new race. Many won’t have a dog in the County Commission fight and will probably want their money back.

  9. Bob says:

    Ok Super Voter aka Mayor Kaplan, you say in the article that you are not worried about Kiar, but criticize him the first chance you get. That looks like you are very worried. Quick piece of advice, if you are going to criticize someone and you are the candidate, then use your real name.

  10. IG Time says:

    A map shows up at the last second and was never seen or viewed for any length of time by the public. It gets voted 7-2. Cuts Rodstrom’s minorty voters by half and if he cant run makes it easier for Keechl to run. LaMarca gets his seat gutted into a D seat. Much of the minority representation for blacks east of 95 is diluted and the cubans get screwed. A sliver just happens to give Kiar a shot right after the Senate maps come out which show he may not be able to run for Nan’s seat. Yet we are supposed to believe that there was no Sunshine violations by the 7 voting commissioners. Come IG if you are for real make your move on this one.

  11. Super Voter says:

    FROM BUDDY:You are assuming that Kiar had a part in creating the district. I don’t make such assumptions.

    OK, then give any other reasonable explanation that only 1 precinct from Davie is in District 1 (which showed up right at the end), and Lieberman made it a point at the Redistricting Debate to do it. Watch the tape, and you will see what happened.

    Funny thing too. I will bet that Lieberman is setting up Kiar. If term limited, I bet that Lieberman turns around in 4 years to take on Kiar, if he wins (which I believe is still an if). She would do that.

    I didn’t say Kiar had no role in it. I just won’t automatically assume he had a role. You may very well be right.

  12. Super Voter says:

    Funny, in politics, when anyone is expressing an opinion against a candidate, somehow another person (Bob, a/k/a Kiar (turn around is fair play)) says it is coming from their opponent. You know there must be thousands of Mayor Kaplan’s out there because we all saw it. Too bad the proof what televised and that can’t be denied.

    Same old politics, same old story. I can’t stand it.

  13. Prudence says:

    Lori Parrish had her hands in this completely. We all know she has a link to the Kiar’s, hence their role as attorneys for the VAB. She rewards those who kiss her ass.

    And Kiar (Bob) frequently says Lieberman is one of his favorites-not a very good role model. We need new blood. Someone who doesn’t actually know where the bodies are buried and had no loyalty or need to protect the old guard.

  14. Buddy says:


    Here is one theory:

    Sunrise Comissioner Sheila Alu has made it a point to attack and oppose County Commissioner Stacy Ritter at every turn, almost since taking office 10 years ago. She done her best to make trouble for Ritter with her friends in the media and on the city commission. Alu is a mortal political enemy of Ritter.

    The reasons behind this nastiness are murky.

    So by making it easier for Kiar to run in District 1, it blocks the path for Alu on the commission for years. Alu is not running for now, but what about tomorrow. This move to put Kiar in the seat could be a move to make sure Alu has no seat to run for far into the future.

    Kiar is a better candidate. Kiar is a true public servant and he isn’t surrounded by all the drama and controversy like Alu. He is a true grass roots politician, who listens to the public. There is perhaps no more tireless campaigner in Broward than Kiar…except his mentor, Lori Parrish. Kiar could easily beat Alu if she ever dared run for District 1.

    Kiar is viewed by most in the political world as a better potential commissioner than Alu.

    So the reason for the gerrymandering could be to get an improved county commission by helping elect an eminently qualified candidate. And doing it all while slamming the door on Alu.

    Just a theory.

  15. Edwin Bryce says:

    What about the Chipster? He is still mad at his fellow Republicans for not helping him keep district 4 together.

  16. Steve Geller says:

    In the Know:

    That’s not how the rule works. Kiar would have to send a letter to all of his current contributors, advising them that they can ask to have the money returned to them. If they don’t object, after a certain period of days, Kiar can bulk transfer the funds from a Senate Campaign account to a County Commission Campaign account.

  17. Richard J Kaplan says:

    Dear Bob,

    I really haven’t had the time to comment, or read blogs that much lately. My wife has been ill (first from surgery and then a complication from surgery), and I just brought her home from the hospital. I gave Buddy a comment while in my wife’s hospital room.

    Between taking care of a lot of matters (which I won’t go into), commenting on blogs is not the most important thing I have to do.

    I am sorry to disappoint Bob whoever he is, and what he was thinking. I don’t often comment on these blogs, especially when I have my own blog, (I have several articles in the cue to publish for the next few weeks) A “sorry,” “my mistake,” or even a “hope your wife feels better” would be in order.

    PS My wife is expected to be fine with a few more days rest at home. Thanks to all our friends who have been very supportive and helpful during this time.

  18. commissioner alu says:

    Hmmm Buddy you might want to sleep on that theory.

  19. In the Know says:


    Thank you for clearing that up, but the net effect is the same. Kiar still must contact all donors and advise them that their contributions are available to be returned. Some will still say yes, and some, no.

  20. Seth R says:

    Kaplan, the fact that you even responded to such a petty personal attack from “Bob” raises doubts about your ability to rise above the type of accusations that are par for a competitive political campaign.

    Bob, post your last name if you’re going to go tit-for-tat with anyone on this blog. It’s more fun that way, don’t you think?

    Seth Roberts, Sunrise

  21. Edwin Bryce says:

    Who cares about your wife Richard. We all have problems. Whether it be health or finances we all live in the same boat. Maybe you should consider quitting the race to care for your ailing wife.

  22. Redistricting 101 says:

    It gets better. There is a meeting on record between Lieberman and Kiar. Check the lobbyist record. This is exactly when the “revision” in Lieberman’s map happened.

    If that’s not bad enough, there were rampant sunshine violations between two of the commissioners. Satz will win re-election if he does his job with this one!

  23. Redistricting 101 says:

    What is this guy Edwin’s fixation on Lamarca? Kinda wierd.

  24. ExCompassionate Conservative says:

    Buddy, any chance of posting a link to the proposed district? What present voters would be out of his new district if he ran ?

    FROM BUDDY: The link is at the bottom of the story.

  25. Redistricting101 your wrong says:

    It was not Liebermans map that passed, it was Ritters and Jacobs map. Do your homework a little better.

  26. Redistricting101 your wrong says:

    Also Lieberman strongly opposed the map. Watch the tape

  27. Ryan says:

    All of this speculation wont matter once the FL Supreme Court throws out the Senate map. The proposed District 34 will not stand up in court

  28. what about says:

    Hat tip to Red Broward. Kiar meets with Lieberman before the vote on the maps. Either he is to honest or just dumb.

  29. Nick Steffens says:

    Franklin’s current residence is in District 5. Of course, he could move, but I don’t think he would do that to Marty at this point. And Richard Kaplan and Howard Berger can go fight over the few EDs in Lauderhill that are in D1. They’d be better off endorsing Marty now and running for something else down the road.

  30. Redistricting101 your wrong says:

    So i dont see the big deal. So what if Kiar met with Ilene. Ilene’s amendment did not pass and she fought against the Ritter and Jacobs amendment that passed. But regardless, it is redistricting. Each of the commissioners fought to have their homes in their districts. It is also possible that both Berger and Kaplan fought to have their homes in the district since the small part of Lauderhill that wound up in the district is where they live.

  31. So what says:

    So what, it is redistricting. Lois would not vote for a map that didn’t have her condo in it. Rodstrom was trying to put his home in Chips district. Each commissioner put their homes in their districts. Kiar’s home was put in it, just like Berger’s home and Kaplan’s home. And the area of Lauderhill is only slightly bigger than the Davie section. Holeness was trying to put Hazelle Rodgers in the district. And wait for
    it…….Ilene voted against the map. It is

  32. Wayne Arnold says:

    If State Represenrative Martin Kiar does leave the legislature I suspect that would finish any real opportunties he may have in his future for statewide elective office. That would be disappointing. He is a dedicated public servant who has much ability and good character. We need his type of leadership in Tallahassee.

  33. Sean says:

    I can tell you unequivocally that I will be voting for Martin Kiar. I live in Plantation and I have heard him speak many times. He makes sense and he is a big Democrat. Also, he and his office representative named Scott helped me on a family issue. He will make a great County Commissioner.

  34. I'm in the know too says:

    It’s completely obvious who the person to beat in this race is since Kiar’s opponents are already attacking him and he has not even said for certain if he will run.

  35. Tallahassee is frustrating says:

    I know as a fact that Rep. Kiar would love to run for the Florida Senate, but when the Republicans in Tallahassee fear you, they draw you out of a district. That is what they did with the initial map. It may change, but you never know.If he continues to run for the Senate, I think he would be successfull. Also, if he runs for the County Commission he will probably win that as well. My advice to him is run for the one where he believes he can help the most people.

  36. Procrastinator says:

    Marty is a really nice guy, but an easy mark for any one of these ruthless, morally bankrupt commissioners and career politicians who demand undying loyalty, which he will unequivocally provide. Especially to whoever drew him in. He’ll get a big raise and be able to stay home with family. Unfortunately,he has no backbone of his own. He does what he’s told, apologizing all along the the way. But a really nice guy. He is the nervous voice of the unions, not necessarily the general constituency. He does well in Tallahassee because all he needs to do is disagree with the republicans, which he does well with the talking points he is provided. But how well will he do with his own majority? He will still be looking for the talking points and someone to tell him what to say. The sad result is the politicians who put him there will completely control him. Nice guy, but just wants to stay in office, any office, a political puppet. Shame on those people who take advantage of his naivete.

  37. Procrastinator says:

    To Tallahassee is frustrating:

    I highly doubt that the people in Tallahassee ‘fear’ Marty Kiar. Is he a big pain in the ass with his ridiculous cross examination questions? Yes! But he is one step away from Larcinia, an eye roller, people give him opportunities to speak so he irritates members into voting against him. They use him like a rented mule, and deliberately incite him when they need to. So sad people have this impression that he is really representing them in Tallahassee. He has no chance of doing anything significant, only what bones they throw him. And he won’t in the Senate either. As I said, he is a really, really nice guy but does not have a clue. If he wants to continue to ‘feed at the public trough’, he should stay down in Broward, because if he runs in the new senate district, he’s done! The leadership in the senate obviously does not have the patience for another Larcinia.

  38. Procrastinator is ludicrous says:

    Procrastinator, you are obviously one of the Tallahassee Republicans who is scared of Marty. It’s ok, your obvious hatred of him, the unions and all things Democrat clearly shows that your scared of him and the Democratic party. Look if I was in your position then I would try to discredit him as well. Also, I have to add that since you spent so much of your day posting two lengthy posts about him either means you have way too much time on your hands or just that you are obsessed with him. Regardless, you scare me.

  39. Tallahassee Insider says:

    The “republicans” in Tallahassee didn’t do him in. Amendment 5 + 6 did him in. “Fair” districts need to be drawn both ways.

  40. To Tallahassee Insider says:

    So your saying the Senate maps are fair. The maps were drawn to benefit every incumbent and only 12 Democrats can get elected. They are far from “fair” and will be thrown out. If the maps were fair, then Nan’s seat would not stretch from the Miami Dade County line to the Martin County line. When the real maps are made, I think a lot of incumbents in both parties will be in jeopardy.

  41. Tallahassee Insider says:

    I’m saying that if you look at the maps without party affiliation or incumbency, as was intended by 5 & 6, you see a more squared off, compact, and logical district as compared(compared to the old map).

    I will also speculate that if the “republicans” did want to cut somebody into the Senate district, it would be Kiar over Abruzzo. One Senator can cause all sorts of trouble and Abruzzo can be a loose cannon. Kiar wouldn’t likely do anything crazy.

    However, I doubt it had anything to do with either of them and more to do with what I stated up top.

  42. In the Know says:

    Kiar’s entry into the district 1 race right now would be an admission that he thinks the state maps are fair. Somehow, I don’t see that happening. I think he’ll wait for the floor fights in the house and senate and the supreme court rulings before making the decision to jump.

  43. To Tallahassee Insider says:

    You make somewhat of a point, but whether a district is squared off is irrelevant. Amendments 5 and 6 say you cannot draw a district to benefit a political party or an incumbent. In the current map, every incumbent has a safe seat and no two incumbents have to run against one another. It is impossible to make a map like that without doing it specifically to benefit an incumbent. Also, under the map, the districts were packed to elect an overwhelming amount of Republicans, also illegal. Also, even though some districts may be more square, the districts still split cities and counties. The house map is drawn much more fairly, the Congressional map, much more fairly, the senate map, very unfairly and not worth the paper it was drawn on. The Senate map will change a whole lot as it does not comply with the Constitution and the will of the voters.

  44. Harold says:

    It doesn’t say counties or cities. It says geographic or political boundries. They could follow special districts, commission districts, canals, etc.

  45. To Tallahassee Insider says:

    Regardless of what a geographical boundary may or may not be, the point still is that the Senate maps are drawn to benefit every incumbent and that is just not permitted. If you can show me any two incumbents who must run against each other than I will post no more. Unfortunately, you can’t because the lines were drawn to benefit all incumbents. Both parties were complicit in it as all Republicans and just about every Democrat voted for the map at the last committee. And believe me, when every Democrat votes for a map that only permits twelve Dems to get elected, that stinks of Constitutional violations.

  46. back at you says:

    What you offer is not proof. The same could be said about forcing two incumbents to run against each other, which would also violate the amendment.

    I think the court will provide wide deference as to what constitutes the legislature’s “intent” when interpreting these amendments.

    Now you all may actually see what the amendments really are (and what everybody said they were at the time): A tool for lawyers and the minority party or any angry group to challenge the maps no matter how they are drawn.

    Check the division of elections page. Every one of those idiot wannabees have standing that they were disfavored, or their opponents favored.

  47. Right back at you says:

    Your argument has no merit. I agree that the amendments cannot disfavor an incumbent and you would have an argument if it was reversed and every incumbent was drawn out of a district. However that is not the case. Not one, I repeat not one, incumbent has been drawn out of a seat and not one incumbent has to run against another incumbent. The only way of ensuring that is if the districts were designed to be drawn to benefit incumbents. The House map draws incumbents in with others and is fair. The Senate map does not as it was done to benefit incumbents. It is the poster child for gerrymandering at it’s worst. Also, the Courts are not going to give wide deference to the legislature. The courts have consistently thrown out the bad junk that this legislature passes and at times puts on the ballot. The Supreme Court are not made up of self serving legislative politicians and will be the voice of reason in this matter. As I said before, the Senate map is toast.

  48. Bob says:

    The Tallahassee information is irrelevant now, I know as a fact that Martin was pulling the County Commission packet to run today.