It’s Official: Judge Ian Richards Defeated After Lengthy Recount






County Judge Ian Richards, who beat an incumbent to win a court seat six years ago, has himself been beaten in his first bid for re-election.

Challenger Claudia Robinson won by 541 votes after a lengthy recount. The recount hand counted more than 100,000 over votes and the under votes.

The results are official and being certified to Tallahassee.

In an amazing twist, Robinson won a countywide race with more than 360,000 votes cast spending only $11,609.  Richards spent $163,771.

Robinson declared victory on Facebook:

The recount and count is complete and we won!!!! Overseas absentee ballots are still trickling in. We are ahead 467 ballots. I cannot thank EVERYONE enough for all of your help and support during the campaign and after.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! — at Broward Supervisor Of Elections.



“I’m an immigrant. My Mom came here with $200 in her pocket. It was a journey that hasn’t been easy,” Robinson told “I’m feeling like all my hard work paid off.”

Richards conceded to Rafael Olmeda of the Sun-Sentinel mid-afternoon on Friday.

Robinson came to Miami at 2-years old from Nicaragua.  She lived in a Liberty City studio apartment with her mother and grandmother and they all received political asylum.

After graduating University of Florida law school where she received a partial scholarship, the Nicaragua-born Robinson was an assistant Broward County Assistant Public Defender. She later was the assistant general counsel for the Broward County Police Benevolent Association. At the time of her election, she was a sole practitioner at the Law Office of Claudia Robinson P.A.

Richards beat incumbent Judge Catalina Avalos in 2008. Critics said Richards targeted Avalos because of her Hispanic-sounding name, while his name sounds like English royalty. Now Richards has been beaten by a Hispanic whose married name is strictly Anglo.



 1170696_418969178208948_140341402_nClaudia Robinson 

Claudia Robinson’s Official Statement, Released Late Friday, November 14: 

First and foremost, I want to thank the voters of Broward County for participating in the election process. My candidacy was based on the belief that I wanted to provide the voters of Broward County a choice as to whom they wanted to serve as their County Court Judge. I offered the voters the opportunity to vote for someone who was not part of the political establishment nor someone who thought it was appropriate to treat people unfairly and make comments offensive to women from the bench. I remained focused throughout my grassroots campaign message – in addition to having knowledge of the law, as their Judge, I would serve them with the compassion and good common sense my life experiences afforded me.

I truly feel that this campaign has been a reflection of my life as well as that of my mother and grandmother. I am from a family of risk takers, my mother and grandmother left Nicaragua and sought political asylum in the United States with little money and a dream for a better life for our family. That better life never came easy, but as they say, the things that one works the hardest for are the things one appreciates most. Every day my mother and grandmother showed me that America was the place that a person of limited means could get ahead with integrity and hard work. My successful campaign is a true testament to that hard work ethic instilled upon me and our unwavering belief in our country.

When I decided to run, my only supporters were my family and a few friends. I was counted out the moment I became a candidate, because as it has been all my life, the “experts” said I couldn’t compete because I didn’t have enough money or connections. Despite my detractors, my supporters and I went out and ran a successful campaign with something more valuable than money or connections, heart and hard work. In the end this campaign is a celebration and continuation of the American Dream, a belief instilled in me by my mother and grandmother, which I now pass on to my daughter. More importantly than becoming your next Broward County Court Judge, I hope my success here serves as an example to others that by being a person of integrity, who is willing to work hard, one can achieve their dream. I know, with the support of my family, friends and voters of Broward County, I did.


18 Responses to “It’s Official: Judge Ian Richards Defeated After Lengthy Recount”

  1. Kevin Hill says:

    Karma. An Hispanic immigrant named “Robinson” beat a black guy named “Richards” who hid his ethnicity to beat a woman named “Avalos.”



  2. Not Ian Richards says:

    Simply amazing how Judge Ian Richards had fewer than half the voters than he has social media friends. According to Facebook, Richards has over 30,000 fans and over 389,000 followers. How could he lose to a woman with only $11,000 in her account.

    Bye bye Ian Richards. And don’t try again in two years. Your ship has sailed.

  3. Amanda Barcusa says:

    Great article Buddy!!!! So happy for Claudia. Definition of Karma. I’m sure Ian is wishing he never ran in the first place.

  4. my vote counted says:

    when I do not properly vet a candidate, any candidate, judge or just a mortal, I VOTE FEMALE!!
    Kudos Judge-elect Robinson.
    Your name and ethnicity never mattered -just your “Gender”.

    Please do right by all entering your court room!
    A Fort Lauderdale Voter who voted early in Pompano Beach for YOU!

  5. Observer says:

    This race should perplex the consultants. There is no reason Claudia should have won. She had no money, no endorsements, no political experience. Why did she win?

    I’ve heard because she’s a female. Sokoloff is a female and had money and name recognition. She lost.

    Ballot placement? Sokoloff was #2 on the ballot as was Claudia.

    Claudia won because people believed in her message and passed it along. This was truly a grassroots county wide campaign that the people bought into.

    Claudia did with time what people try to do with money… Win over voters. She was out campaigning every day for the last 14 months. People should take notice of this race. Claudia proved it can be done.

  6. observant says:

    One campaign consultant that was not perplexed, Mike Ahern.

    BTW, when did Ahern start going by the name Karma.

  7. Tell the truth says:

    I don’t believe Ian Richards hid from anyone
    In 2008 or 2014. The Broward Teachers union sent out mailers supporting her. Fighter fighter had on union shirts handing out cards supporting her and they were paid. Dan Lewis blue, card red card support and was largely a failure on every issue.
    Avalos with Hispanic vote called in some
    The true is Richards ran a true grassroots
    Campaign in 2008 and won with no union support or big money. While in 2014
    He made some small tactical mistakes and lost. There was big money behind Claudia Robinson not just $11,000 but big money that Richards couldn’t match.
    Now, the big question can she perform.
    She owes these powerful people a lot of favors. So when she gets that call to let such
    and such out of jail just do it and ask no question.

  8. Tell the truth says:

    In 2008 Ian Richards run against
    Steven Deluca after checking
    with other lawyers. They had nothing but nice words about the
    judge. Kevin Kulik advise Richards
    to run against Catalina Avalos they
    all said she was a bad judge.

  9. Bailey vs Rhoda says:

    With Joe “making the Green” Eggs and ham and and Judy “black voters guide” Stern working for Bailey there will always be a question of corruption involving that race. The difference was 1000 or so votes , all it took was for 1000 votes for Rhoda to have Bailey circled in making it a no vote for either. Some may speculate that part of the $5000 paid to Joe Eggs may have been used to buy votes? 1000 votes at $25 a head is only $2500.

    No doubt if any of the above is true, Judge Bailey had no knowledge of it. As they say lay with dogs like Stern and Joe Eggs you get a lot of fleas.

  10. Susan says:

    Congratulations Claudia on an amazing victory and a long, well organized and hard fought grass roots campaign. Never a doubt! We all knew you would land this ‘plum’ position 🙂 and we’re all so proud of you girl! Go get ’em!!

  11. my vote counted says:

    I voted for Rhonda S. Not sure why she was defeated
    (also voted for Claudia)

  12. Señor Censor says:

    Peel back the onion on the Sokoloff race you will find JQC violations, vote buying by the convicted corrupt felon hired as an advisor and consultant by a man that wants to be a “judge”.

  13. Also Attended says:

    @5 that the exact way Richards won his seat in the first place.

    What it proves is that the public has no frigging idea who they’re voting for when it comes to judges. It’s not that voters are stupid. It’s that judges can’t run races in the traditional sense so who among us could truthfully deny that when we vote for judges most of it is a guess.

    We pick judges on a guess. We pick them most commonly based on what name they got at birth. It has nothing to do with selecting the best possible judges. Such money as judges raise to run campaigns come from the lawyers that will practice before them. Such is the system we have in place to select judges.

    You tell me what sense that makes.

  14. And your point is says:

    Ok, this just didn’t happen in the last couple of cycles it has been going on here for years. The biggest group of those who bitch and moan are the old timers that backed Karen because they didn’t see that the Jewish condo vote is dead literally and figuratively. 20 30 years ago you had a system where blacks and Hispanics couldn’t get elected to anything because the cabal of condo voters who mostly voted for Jewish candidates.

    Quite simply, as it has been said about democracy, it is not a perfect system but it is better than any other system.

  15. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    When a sitting Judge does not get re-elected there must be a reason other than a political consultant or money being the only factor, as there would be if this were an incumbent Mayor, Commissioner, State Representative, State Senator, Congressman, US Senator, Governor or President. To think an incumbent got defeated out of “Karma” is too cut by half and obscures what must have been some real error (s) of judgement the legal community saw or, some other tangible failing. I saw two well regarded, established, well-funded male Judges defeated in Manhattan two decades ago, both lost because once elected they ignored their supporters and a particular “interested group with a different ideaology” organized and simply swamped them with little money but lots of volunteers. Maybe this is what happened here. Why did Solokoff loose? I don’t know, she seemed to have a great many dedicated volunteers and supporters.

  16. Lamberti is a Criminal says:

    Congrats JUDGE Robinson

  17. Ijs says:

    I hear Claudia has….issues. Please deal with these issues no more negative light on the courts.

  18. Yes Judge Robinson has issues says:

    You are right Judge Robinson has issues that need to be addressed.

    Who will be her JA?

    What Division will she be in?

    Does she go to Hollywood?

    Understanding her retirement plan under FRS?

    When does the state health benefits kick in?

    Who is she sending invites too for the Robing Ceremony?

    Who is going to introduce her at her Robing Ceremony?

    Should she have a party after the Robing Ceremony?

    Should she wear black robe on the bench or mix it up like Judge Holmes or Shutter with different colors?

    Should she get rid of her facebook page pursuant to the JQC opinion?

    Taking the time to know the good lunch spots in Hollywood should she replace Richards down there?