Mayor: Who’s Using My Name And Why Is He Running For Judge?





Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan found out last weekend that he was running for judge.

Not really.


Mayor Richard J. Kaplan:  Not running for judge.



But a lawyer similarly named Richard Kaplan is running for Broward County Circuit Court.

“It’s not me,” the mayor said.  “I don’t even know the other Kaplan.”

The mayor’s lack of familiarity with the candidate Kaplan is no surprise. They run in completely different circles:

  • Mayor Richard J. Kaplan is a veteran Broward city pol, first elected to the Lauderhill City Commission in 1988. He is substantially older than candidate Kaplan, having graduated Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1980. He is in private practice specializing in real property and probate.
  • Candidate Richard B. Kaplan is an attorney with the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, the government office that handles cases turned down for legal reasons by the Public Defender. He graduated St. Thomas School of Law in 1999.

Last week, Richard B. Kaplan filed to run against incumbent Broward Circuit Court Judge Michael Usan, who is on the bench in criminal court. Usan was appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist in 2010 and got elected without opposition in 2012.

Candidate Kaplan could not be reached for comment.

Mayor Kaplan had a lot to say, mainly that he didn’t want voters to be confused and believe he was running for judge.

“I am sure there will be a lot of confusion with this,” the mayor said. “I hope people will know otherwise.”

Now at least readers of will know otherwise.

8 Responses to “Mayor: Who’s Using My Name And Why Is He Running For Judge?”

  1. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    It would be even funnier if his name was Robert Walsh..

  2. FTL Voter says:

    Mayor Richard Kaplan probably has a name ID with the voters of 2% countywide … at most. I don’t anyone would get confused…. But Broward voters do like electing guys named Kaplan to the bench: Stan, Michael, Charlie Kaplan were all examples.

  3. justina says:

    Except, it is not at all funny.

    This other Richard Kaplan is not a well recognized accomplished attorney like Mayor Kaplan.

    He is playing what they call the “name game” hoping to cash in on the good reputation of Mayor Kaplan and current Judge Michael Kaplan and former Judges Stanton and Charles Kaplan.

    Worse, he filed in against a well respected judge because of his last name. Judge Usan is a distinguished jurist who has been on the bench for 8 years and is fair, efficient, polite and knowledgeable. Everything we want a judge to be. But usan is not a common name and falls low in the alphabet making it an undesirable ballot name.

    Kaplan is hoping to knock out this good judge by playing a name game to confuse the general public who don’t always know who to vote for in judge elections.

    This is why Rep. Chris Smith supports merit retention for judges so they don’t face challenges from unqualified wannabees playing name game politics.

    nothing funny going on here but political funny business of the worst kind

  4. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    You know what i will say it again thats politics.And shame on the voter for just voting for someone because as you point out name recongination.Sounds like this Mr.Kaplan is going to win..

  5. JUSTIN SERIAN says:


    Isn’t he the Lauderhill mayor?

    “Lauderdale Mayor Richard Kaplan found out last weekend…”


    Wow. Sorry about that. It is interesting that the item had thousands of views, including on Facebook and Twitter, and nobody spotted this. Obviously, I didn’t notice it either. Thanks, Buddy

  6. Howard says:

    Shades of Brenda Forman? Without a marriage of course.

  7. I don't understand says:

    I don’t understand the emails here.

    I know Mayor Richard Kaplan, and I like him. Are people suggesting that the other Richard Kaplan can’t run for any office because his name is the same as the mayor? The younger Kaplan CAN’T run for Judge under any other name. The law says that in order to run for Judge, you need to have been an attorney for 5 years. If the Younger Kaplan graduated in 1999, and assuming that he was sworn in the same year, that means he’s been practicing law for at least 18 years. Why shouldn’t he run for Judge? Although I plan on voting for Usan.

  8. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    I have read HERE Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan is a good elected official AND PLANNED TO VOTE FOR HIM. After reading Judge Usan is an experienced Judge n the ‘other’ Richard Kaplan IS NOT the Mayor of Lauderhill and not as qualified as Judge Isan I am glad Broward Beat covered this story.