Pitching Broward’s Black Voters

BY BUDDY NEVINS

UPDATE: After this was posted, Broward prosecutor David Cannady entered the race. Cannady is also black.

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Maybe being the former president of Broward County’s black T.J. Reddick Bar Association has colored Harold F. Pryor Jr.’s view point. 

Maybe that’s why Pryor jumped into the race for Broward State Attorney last week and his first campaign ad features a blatant appeal to black voters.

Currently there are six Democrats running to replace State Attorney Mike Satz. Pryor is the only black.

At this point based on his initial pitch, Pryor is putting all his money on his race.

Blacks comprise nearly 40 percent of the Democratic Party registration so the tactics may work. (228,000 out of 592,000 Democrats, not including Hispanic blacks.)

Similar ethnic appeals are an age-old campaign strategy.

Thirty years ago before there was YouTube, Broward candidates openly campaigned as Jewish. Candidates who hadn’t been in a synagogue since their Bar Mitzvah suddenly donned a yarmulke and dusted off their Jewish heritage.

Former U. S. Rep. Larry Smith, D-Hollywood, used his wife’s maiden name “Cohen” in his 1980s campaign ads presumably because the “Smith” name wasn’t Jewish.

So Pryor’s appeal to one community is not unique.

The corporate counsel for the Fort Lauderdale-based telecommunications firm Hotwire Communications Ltd., Pryor was a prosecutor under Satz for a period of time. 

Pryor’s campaign resume is vague on the amount of time he worked for Satz, but other sources on the Internet state he worked as a prosecutor for roughly three years. He received his Florida Bar license six years ago and worked for two other private law firms in addition to Hotwire and Satz’s office.

His initial campaign video is well produced. As a viewer I believe it is a little too long and doesn’t mention what office he is running until the 2:29 video is almost over. It is taped largely in, what else, black and white.

“I am running because we have a once-in-a-generation chance to initiate ground level criminal justice reform while not compromising the safety of our communities. I will run on the very principles that will serve as the foundation of my office on day one— Justice, Fairness, and Equality for all people,” Pryor writes on his campaign Facebook page. 

A nice sentiment.

Yet so far, the words “for all people” appear to mean only one group in our community based on his first ad. Let’s hope he addresses other communities in the campaign.

 




10 Responses to “Pitching Broward’s Black Voters”

  1. FTL Voter says:

    I don’t see it as a video aimed “only one group in our community.” He’s a black guy and he’s telling his life story, it just happens it is in the black community. But his message was about several subtle things in there including a pitch to people who have lost someone to crime and to families of those struggling with addiction. It actually seemed to sneak in a very bold, different pitch that his office will not focus on prosecuting drugs addicts for possession, and it will let them focus on criminals who make us unsafe. At least that was how I heard it.

  2. Experience matters says:

    Who cares? When the voters find out Pryor was trained by Sarahnell Murphy, they will want the teacher not the student. It is clear that Pryor’s message is based on dividing the community by race. Sarahnell wants to unite the all of Broward, not divide it. Pryor is only 31 years old, what has he accomplished? He was not seen as anything great when he was at SAO. Many say he was lazy….

  3. White on an island says:

    Buddy

    I believe “minorities” make up 50% of the electorate, this is not exclusive to only blacks. All of the candidates last year and now that are tied to Dale Holness run on a message that is not inclusive to whites, which is why most loose. I find it amusing that someone who claims to be an agent of change has a photo of himself with Satz in his video. No State Attorney has sent more minorities to prison than Satz.

  4. A reader says:

    I just watched the video. One trick ponies generally lose the race.

  5. Another trainee running says:

    I see David Cannady, another black canddiate, filed to run. Like Pryor, Canady is another Broward ASA who was trained by Sarahnell Murphy. Why would the people vote for a trainee when they can elect the prosecutor with the most experienceM How ignorant are these guys? How ignorant do they think the voters are? They appear as dumb as Kamala and Booker thinking they could beat President Trump.

    FROM BUDDY:

    I added Cannady to the post.

  6. 2 years, 10 months, 22 days says:

    According to Broward County official records, he was appointed an ASA on 4/2/2014, and resigned 2/24/2017. He didn’t even fulfill the three-year commitment new hires are asked to make!

    So he didn’t make it two three years with the State, and he’s now on his THIRD job since leaving in early 2017? How’s is this even a serious candidate?

  7. Insider says:

    Most Assistant State Attorney’s will vote for anyone but Murphy….Murphy proved that she is just going to rubber stamp Satz on things. When she agreed and basically said that the only qualified people to handle parkland are the double dippers (who retired, are on a pension and were brought back to handle the case), most ASAs felt insulted and undervalued. Hard to bounce back from that.

    FROM BUDDY:

    I disagree. Most voters don’t pay attention or care about Courthouse machinations. Most voters will cast ballots for a State Attorney’s candidate who (1) they believe will keep them safe, (2) they belief will be fair and, most of all, has (3) a name, gender and ethnic background they identify with.

    In addition, Satz has retired and is not on the ballot. Anything written about his lame-duck administration most likely will get little traction from voters in the upcoming election.

  8. Insider says:

    I agree with everything you said. I didn’t say most voters- just most assistant state attorney’s and their families. I completely agree with you that most voters don’t care about what the insiders in the courthouse think. I meant that the people that work for her now, are not happy with her. I don’t think she will have the “courthouse” vote. (not that it matters) I think the circulation of her husbands inflammatory Trump posts within the Democratic clubs will hurt her more (even if that isn’t fair). But I agree with everything you said Buddy.

  9. Son of the Owl says:

    Buddy, I agree with your assessment regarding #7. I also think it would be interesting for you to spend a full day in the courthouse, particularly the criminal wing. It’s remarkable to listen to these lawyers, many of them working for the SAO or PD who think (1) they actually understand local politics and (2) that the criminal sides’ 300 total votes decide elections. It would help you understand where most of this crap comes from. They are clueless. Only three current SAO candidates, Rydell, Williams and Lewis, have previously run for political office, and two have lost (one of them MULTIPLE times). Of the others, only Pryor has been involved in the community for years and has come forward with a solid message. Murphy is a viable candidate. Kannady has every right to run. Kimok ought to run for PD.

    The whole contest will come down to personal comfort based upon race, gender and ethnicity. Assuming a closed Democrat primary with 250,000 voters and seven or more candidates, 50,000 votes wins this one and goes to November to beat a Republican challenger. This is Broward after all.

  10. Davie Blvd Lawyer says:

    Ditto what #6 said. Pryor is on his 3d job in 6 years. He has no experience to run a multi million dollar office with 300+ lawyers.

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