Republicans Fail In Plantation Mayor’s Race; Other Election Tidbits


The Red Tide is coming in everywhere except Plantation.

The Broward Republican Party lost big in the Planation mayor’s race Tuesday.

The party and its supporters with websites like RedBroward spent months trying to grab the seat for GOP stalwart Jerry Fadgen.

The GOP couldn’t do it. They muffed it.

Broward Republicans have not proven yet they can win a tough race in a seat that wasn’t gerrymandered for them.   (GOP County Commissioner Chip LaMarca’s district was originally designed for a Republican.)

Diane Veltri Bendekovic, a Democrat, won the race handily.

Democrats aren’t really crowing, but they are happy.  It was their seat to lose since Bendekovic  was the favored candidate from the beginning.

She is the daughter of the late former Mayor Frank Veltri and a long-time political figure herself.

“I’m taking very little of the credit for the win.  I would have gotten all the blame for a loss,” said Broward Democratic leader Mitch Ceasar.

Tuesday was particularly hard on the Broward Republican’s new Executive Director Rico Petrocelli. A former city commissioner who is said to dislike Bendekovic politically and personally, he used his contacts and every bit of effort to defeat her.

Tuesday proved RedBroward is just the name of a website, not a political movement.


Plantation candidate Lynn Stoner overcame a last-minute advertising attack for not voting in city elections.  She beat Rabbi Sheldon Harr and businessman Eric Hammond.

Stoner may have benefited as the only woman in a three-candidate race.  She also got the Sun-Sentinel and police union endorsement and has a solid resume.


Another big winner in the Plantation race was the police union– the Fraternal Order of Police.  The union picked all four winners.

The Sun-Sentinel editorial board had a few misses.  One big one: They wanted Jerry Fadgen to beat Diane Veltri Bendekovic.

The Editorial Board got the three commission races right in Plantation.

Other Editorial Board mistakes: It recommended Ben Preston to beat Sylvia Poitier in Deerfield Beach, which didn’t happen.  It wanted Michael Carn in Oakland Park, but Shari McCartney won.

The Board also missed one in Pompano Beach and in Miramar.

But hey, the Board got voters to follow their three recommendations in Hillsboro Beach.


Sylvia Poitier overcame negative publicity about her role in alleged scandal at Deerfield Beach City Hall to easily win.

Poitier won in a landslide because her name is fabled in her community.

Her neighbors obviously remembered that she was helping them years before her opponents. She was there when blacks in Broward politics was a rarity.  Poitier’s campaign ads emphasized that she had represented Deerfield Beach blacks at the county commission and city commission for over a generation.


I’m glad to see among the winners is lawyer Shari McCartney, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer with the high-powered Republican firm of Tripp Scott. McCartney, who I praised earlier this year for her “tireless enthusiasm and “whip smart mind, easily overcame two other opponents to win a seat on the Oakland Park City Commission.

Expect her to bring some fresh ideas to Oakland Park while preserving what is good about the city.

32 Responses to “Republicans Fail In Plantation Mayor’s Race; Other Election Tidbits”

  1. Bill Bzdek says:

    Congratulations to Diane , Sharon, Ron and Lynn and respect to all that ran !
    Not so sure your analysis is correct Buddy, we all fail when 10 % of eligible Broward voters engage , even less in Plantation maybe 8.5%. This has gone on forever. And how much money was spent I would guess maybe $250,000. Would rather feed the children with that money( end
    Anyway all should check out Bell, California . They never voted and got screwed suspect they had a very high turnout .
    Its not about Mitch or Rico , its about the average American Citizen stepping up to the plate.

    I also am disappointed with the turnout. I agree with you on that point.

    Another factor in the race was the GOP. They put as much as they could in the race. RedBroward was literally hyperventilating. They couldn’t pull it off. It was a clear defeat for Republican activists and the tiny Republican Party organization.

  2. Broward Politico says:

    Congrats to Diane. I know she will do a great job for Plantation.

  3. Mortimer Jones says:

    Rico won with Lynn Stoner. Don’t be fooled.


    That might be his spin. Stoner is only replacing Fadgen on the commission — a wash. She also won for other reasons I mentioned.

    The big push was for mayor. The Republicans lost, plain and simple.

  4. Another resident says:

    Honestly, I think you’re being a little too harsh.

    In Plantation it would take a republican turn out of double the democrats in a city where democrats lead almost 2 to 1.

    With a meager 10% voter turn out, that is a hugh mountain to climb and yet another reason for a November election.

  5. A Win for Plantation says:

    Congrats to all the winners in Plantation!

    Diane ran with integrity and never resorted to negative ads or dirty tricks- her “Team” (and NO, that does not include Mitch Ceasar) delivered for her in a big way.

    Bill, she has been discussing moving the election to November all along the campaign trail. I hope it improves voter turnout, which was dismal today. I also hope that some of you who hold such a deep-seated hatred of her will listen to what she wants for the city and know that she ran her own race. Period.

    The hacks over at RedBroward hit several all-time lows with their juvenile postings- trying to tie anything, everything and anyone to Diane in a negative way. Going after her supporters, really? Pictures from the streets?
    This is the problem with “bloggers” thinking they are now journalists. Tom L, Rico, Kevin- you failed.

    Buddy, you are correct, this was a big loss for Rico, who still can’t believe he lost two years ago and used all of his contacts at BREC to work against Diane. His “base” is not what he thinks it was and while a very small group may think he is a “great” guy, there are very many who shudder at the thought of him holding elected office again.

    Another loser? The Sun Sentinel. Lisa Huriash’s biased reporting in Plantation and the Editorial Board’s off-base endorsement caused me to cancel my daily subscription.

    Thanks, Buddy, for all the opportunities you provide for opinions to be heard. This is still the most sensible site to do so, even if we don’t all agree.

  6. Purplish Voter says:

    I have to agree with Bill. I don’t think that this was a defeat for Republicans. I am a pretty “red” voter (more ind’p) and I didn’t vote for Jerry because my HOA endorsed Diane because of her views on building. Had nothing to do with political party whatsoever. Stoner was endorsed by Rico and she knocked the favored candidate (Harr) to the bottom. Jerry didn’t lose horrifically and if you study they areas in which he lost – it was in the areas where the HOA’s endorsed Diane….not fair to link to party…sounds like you have another motive….i take it you don’t like Rico!


    If Fadgen would have won, I would have given Rico credit. I do appreciate any residents who participate in campaigns because so many people are apathetic.

    I am not the only one who saw the hands of the Republicans and Democrats in the mayor’s race. The following is from Tony Man at the Sun-Sentinel:

    Political parties push their candidates – in ‘nonpartisan’ elections

    By Anthony Man January 30, 2011 07:45 AM

    Forget the theory – there’s no partisan-free zone in local politics.

    Democrats and Republicans in Broward and Palm Beach Counties often try to influence the outcomes of the officially “nonpartisan” municipal elections. And they’re at it again this year in several local contests up for election on March 8.

    “The only people who think they’re nonpartisan are probably some of the voters. But it’s simply not true,” said Jack Furnari, a Republican strategist and party activist in Boca Raton. “All elections are partisan. And anyone who says they aren’t just doesn’t know politics.”

    This year’s biggest example is the contest for Plantation mayor. Though officially nonpartisan, Republicans are hitting the streets for their party’s candidate, Jerry Fadgen. Democrats are summoning party activists to help their candidate, Diane Veltri Bendekovic. The third candidate, R. Warren Meddoff, is a member of the Green Party.

    And this:

    By Anthony Man February 15, 2011 08:35 AM

    One of Broward’s most prominent Republicans is coming in to help Jerry Fadgen raise money for his campaign for Plantation mayor.

    The heavy hitter is George LeMieux, who was the state’s appointed U.S. senator from 2009 until early this year and one-time top aide to former Gov. Charlie Crist.

    LeMieux, who lives in Lighthouse Point and is the Fort Lauderdale-based board chairman of the Gunster law firm, is a former chairman of the Broward Republican Party. In that sense, his lending his name to a Fadgen fundraiser isn’t surprising.

    It comes in the context of municipal races, though they’re theoretically nonpartisan, getting plenty of attention from both political parties. (Background: Political parties push their candidates – in ‘nonpartisan’ elections and Democrats’ list of nonpartisan candidates, with party affiliation.)

  7. A Win for Plantation says:


    Lynn, in my opinion, made a mistake aligning herself with Rico. I hope she will not be influenced by him going forward, as she is far more superior as a candidate than he ever was.

    She did not win because of him- she won because she is intelligent and has educated herself on the issues. I sincerely hope she will not be a divisive force. I hope she will fight for what she believes in, yet be willing to compromise when it is best for the city.

    I think the people on the council are all good people and will not let things degenerate to the level of a few years ago.

  8. sunriseoversite says:

    Wow! just watch the Ed show and come to find out the gop wants to tax girls scout cookies and boy scout popcorn sales. I know they are desparate to getting richer than they already are but that is just down right un-american! Congrats to Mayor Diane Thank god no one wants another Republican.

  9. Fake Chris Christie says:

    Will the new mayor, like the many Ds before her who are beholden to the unions continue to give away the store to stay in office?
    With the Dems and the Unions it’s the circle of life. The Unions donate to the candidate and the candidate donates our money to their pensions.
    Sooner or later the game will be over and we will all be broke.

  10. purplish Voter says:


    All I am saying is that I did not vote based upon political party….I did my homework, listened to the candidates, paid attention to the endorsements, talked to the candidates….a tiny percentage of people voted….in a very democratic city…don’t make too much out of this…

  11. Dennis S Conklin says:


    8,325 Mayoral votes out of 56,748 Plantation Electors is a 14.7% voter turn out.

    That is better than the Council only races that do not break double digit% turn out.


    In 1999, the last year that Plantation had a Mayoral election (and the only Mayoral race Mayor Armstrong ever ran), with only 48,823 Electors, Plantation had 11,225 turn out to vote for 23.0% turn out.

    As to the partisan aspect of the election, if that does have anything to do with it. Let’s see.

    I live in Plantation Park East. The ratio is over 7 DEM to 1 GOP. (2811 to 397) while the City, overall is 1.85 DEM to 1 GOP. (28,256 to 15,306). One would have to add all of the other Electors (13,186), to get 28,492 to top the DEM by only 236 votes.

    It’s even more lop-sided for the County. 548,956 Dem 246,894 GOP. 248,658 Others. There are 53,404 more DEM than all other voters


  12. Dennis S Conklin says:


    I would like to comment about the ballot in Dania Beach Tuesday, and in the State of Florida in general.

    I happened to be able to observe afternoon voting in each of the Dania Beach polling sites.

    I either noted, or had it mentioned to me, the difficulty that the more mature voters were having over their ballots.

    They were using their own Sherlock Holmes magnifying glasses or borrowing the Elections Office sheet magnifying glass because the font size is too small on their two-sheet, four-page ballots which were crammed full of ballot questions, not just a few candidates.

    The reason the pages were filled to overflowing with the tiny font size is BECAUSE THE BALLOT IS PRINTED IN TWO OTHER LANGUAGES BESIDES ENGLISH.

    The print could be three times bigger IF THE BALLOT WAS PRINTED IN ENGLISH.

    This is America. The official language is English. The ballots should be in English ONLY.

    Here is why.

    The voter registration form Line #14 reads “Do you need assistance at the polls?” yes or no. If “yes” is checked the voter’s record is so noted in the EViD machine display when the person checks in to vote and that person can have the proper form filled out to allow his designated assistant to help him with the ballot.

    Any and all voter educational, informational literature can be printed in what ever language (my Grandparents spoke Bohemian and my wife speaks Cantonese.).



  13. Rick Hoye says:

    Congratulations to Diane on a job well done! The Broward Young Democrats are proud to have assisted in delivering this victory to the residents of Plantation!

  14. So Nixonian says:

    If it’s wednesday the attack ads and crazy web posts have stopped in Plantation for about 30 minutes. Hey everyone, take a deep breath and congratulate all who ran for office and wish the winners the best. I hope the winners put their personal animous(some by who they associate with), ideology aside and work together in the best interests of our city to move it forward

  15. Rage Against The Machine says:

    The Stoner campaign won because she had Bruce Edwards running her race. It was personal, Tom Armstrong pissed Edwards off bringing Scott Cowan into Plantation politics. Edwards put her race together at no charge and buried Cowan and Armstrong with what he knows best, Plantation. Stoner worked very hard and follow the plan to the smallest details. The group kept his role off the radar so Harr and Cowan would not know what hit them. Armstrong was out of his league and Stoner will be a great council woman. Edwards also ran Uria’s race and is best friends with Ron Jacobs. Uria, Jacobs and Stoner will be a conservative view on the council. Tingom and Levy you are on the clock! Would not get to cocky over the democrat big winner angle. Diane, Sharon, Lynn, and even Pete are all republicans before they ran for office in Plantation. Ron Jacobs is a conservative. Levy now that Armstrong is gone, is the only true liberal on board and Tingom is a follower.

  16. Another resident says:

    Oh do I ever agree with Dennis Conklin. It is totally appalling to see the ballot in 3 languages. You can’t vote without being an American and an American speaks English, ’nuff said.

    When did it become a crime to be an American?

  17. Resident says:

    It is disappointing that so few voting at such a high cost.

    But the other side was that those that voted really cared about the city and voting, so they were quality vote. They knew about the election; learned about it; and voted thoughtfully.

    Old question: Quality over Quantity. I pick Quality. It normally costs more but is worth it.

  18. Warren Meddoff says:

    I first would like to congradulate Mayor Bendekovic on her victory and wish her the best during the tenure of her office. To our elected council, may you take the trust of the voters seriously and give proper direction to our new mayor. I appreciate the opportunity to have been able to run for office and will continue to speak out where I see anything that I believe is improper.

    We must give our new mayor ample opportunity to put her administration in place and act on her campaign promises. I sincerely hope that she immediately addresses the manner in which the City’​s legal affairs are handled.

    To those few voters that turned out and cast their votes. Thank you for exerting your duty as a citizen of this nation. To those of you that complained and postured without voting, shame on you!

    I appreciate all of the homeowner associations and organizations for providing forums for we candidates to state are platforms on opinions. To those that decided to break the law and vandalize campaign signs and spread lies, door to door, you will be judged by a higher authority and will not avoid payment for your actions.

    During the course of the campaign I came to know a significant number of our Department Heads and other public servants and must say that I appreciate their professionalism and service to the community. I sincerely hope that our City Employees never fail to remember that they are Public Servants and act accordingly.

    To all of the City, thank you for putting up with this one small voice.

    Buddy’s analysis of the race is, in my opinion, correct. Anyone that does not acknowledge the partisan factor of the politics of Plantation is either a fool or blind.

  19. Ann says:

    Nice to see John Adornato win on his second try in Oakland Park.

    He’s a remarkable young man with a who will also bring a lot of fresh ideas to the city.

  20. yeah yeah yeah says:

    Rage against the machine aka red broward and possibly tom lauder. game over, give up on cowan/jedi already, no one cares. Yeah the Republicans covertly had a great day yesterday, it was the great trojan horse. The R’s are secretly “winning” only in Charlie Sheen’s eyes.

  21. Bruce Edwards, Kingmaker? says:

    Rage against the Machine…or “Outlaw Jossey Wales” as you are known on other sites…or simply Bruce Edwards, as you are known in “real” life (amazing how easy it really is with technology to connect screen names to people).

    Your ego astounds me! I have never met you, but have read with interest all of your posts during this campaign on the various sites (you drop so many clues to your identity, it was actually quite fun!). YOU are clearly your biggest fan!

    Go ahead and pat yourself on the back- you were not “off the radar” as you may think, everyone knew you were running Lynn’s campaign, but she won because she was the best candidate.

    I hope Sharon, Lynn and Ron are as insulted as I to hear that Bruce Edwards is their King Maker and Master.

    This was not about Bruce or Tom Armstrong, or even Democrat vs. Republican,Lberal vs. Conservative (thought many tried to make it so)- the council and mayor don’t set social policies.This was about electing the most qualified people to serve.

    We need a variety of people of there, from all walks of life and with different life experiences. I wish them all luck and hope they will work together for the good of the city and not because Bruce Edwards wants to pull the strings.

  22. Kevin says:

    As a political scientist, I’ve never gotten all that upset about “low” voter turnout (however you define it, though I would say that 10% turnout is low by any common sense standard).

    Generally, the most publicly-minded vote in these elections, but what generally puts people over the top in low turnout elections is organization, and not necessarily money. In a November election, however, with 50% + turnout, the win in city and county elections almost ALWAYS goes to the person who raised the most money, since the expected voter universe is so much larger. So that right there is one reason to have these elections in off-months if you are concerned about the “corrupting” role of $$$ in elections.

    Still, among political scientists and historians who DO get bothered by relatively low voter turnout, there are two theories on what drives it (these are common sense; you sure as hell don’t need a Ph.D. to figure these out!!!):

    1. Low voter turnout indicates a general level of satisfaction among voters, the theory being that turnout rises when voters are collectively angry, and of course:

    2. Low voter turnout is a sign that people have lost faith in the performance or the very legitimacy of government, a very troubling thing. Thus, voters disengage as a form of protest.

    These two theories are generally irreconcilable, and hard and expensive to test.

    Kevin Hill.

    (From Buddy: Dr. Kevin Hill is a Florida International University political scientist)

    A well-known Broward political consultant has told me many times they love low turnouts.
    “I’m going to get our supporters to the polls. Why would I want a high turnout, which would just produce more voters for their side?” this consultant explains.
    It is also cheaper for candidates to run a race. Thus some consultants believe that low turnouts make it more possible for challengers to win.

  23. Kevin says:

    @ Dennis,

    Blame the feds for the multi-lingual ballots. This has been part of the Voting Rights Act since 1975, though I think it is a generally good idea.

    You should see the ballots in California…. they are in as many as 17 languages depending on the county! I have one from 1992 that is the size of a magazine…. that thing was over 100 pages long!!


  24. So Nixionian says:

    Unfortunately, I was right, we had a 50 minute respite from the attack blog posts… It’s time for me to wander the Elysian Fields and wonder what possessed me to open the door to China and the resulting economic decline for my country and it’s citizens.

  25. Fadgen Friend says:

    I know Jerry will be mad at me for saying this but it needs to be said. Tom Lauder had very little to do with our campaign. He was nothing more than a guy who walked door to door. I cant sayhe is Red Broward or anything else.
    Tom was toilet paper on your shoe you cant shake. He claimed to be a campaign consultant who was the right hand man of BREC’s Chairman. He talked all the time about how he can gain support through blogging. He also went on and on about tying Diane to schoolboard corruption. All of us thought he was nuts, my fellow Plantation residents care about how our city is run, the school board is down on the list. I believe all this was a pitch to be paid by the campaign. Jerry being the good man he is let Tom hang around and it probably cost him votes. I believe that the juvinile, paranoid nature of Red Broward cost Jerry votes in the end. I know for sure that Jerry never paid Tom Lauder a cent.

  26. Faith restored says:

    To Fadgen Friend,

    If what you are saying is true, then it gladdens my heart a bit. I did not support Jerry, but always perceived him to be a gentleman.

    It bothered me that he was allowing the nasty stuff to go on around him- PJ, yes, but most certainly Red Broward in these last few weeks. I am not sure it costs him votes, as not many people were reading it, but it certainly caused people to view him differently.

    I will take you on your word and will allow my
    faith to be restored in Jerry’s kindness. I wish him well and thank him for serving the city for all these years.

  27. Rage Against The Machine says:

    Thanks Tom for your insight, as usual your are off target. You and Rae Carol enjoy your pensions and medical and dental. You will not be missed.

  28. Florida Voter says:

    Anyone heard of the word “red herring?”

    Congrats to all the Plantation Elects! This community has put their votes out for you to Serve this fantastic city well~

    I agree the comments regarding Jerry, he is a genuine good person that just picked up a shady following.

  29. Dania Native says:

    Off topic: God bless Dania Beach. We saw through the Duke’s game a long time ago. They thought they would steal this election with those BS absentee ballots and then come in and get rid of the city manager, attorney, clerk, police chief, etc. Thier hit list, threats, and intimidation are reviled by all in Dania. Guess what Duke? Instead of running this city, you are going to be run out of office next year, and we will see to it. The anti Duke machine is not even rollling yet. Lisa, you nasty person you. How do you clowns think you can win elections when all you do is treat city staff and residents like crap? Patrick Phipps was a clown also, he attended every city event for over a year, and other than the stupid stolen absentee ballots, he got about 400 real votes at the polls. Patrick, don’t go away mad, just go the hell away. You and Walter and Lisa and Bobbie can all sit around and tell each other how great you are, but don’t you dare try to sell it to us, the residents and voters. We don’t buy it!!!!!!!!!!!! By the way Patrick, I am going to come over to your house and stand in front of it and take your picture all day long. You are a creep, and the voters knew it. You and your creepy camera and your weird alliance with the duchess and the Duke. You all deserve each other………………………..

  30. Electric Man says:

    I guess the only election that counted was in Plantation. Well look south for the real story. A story of people bussed in to a city from another city and paid to hand out palm cards while a small group tried to do things legally. A city that decided thge day after qualification to outlaw signs in the city but only in certain areas…
    Where the 2 winners spent over $20,000 dollars each for a job that pays $37 , 000 a year.

    The winner has zero experience other than attending monthly meetings for 1 hour a month?

    Why was it necessary for the Democrats in the SEIU to bring in part time workers from dade County an pay them $12 a hour for there troubles?
    at 1 precent there were 6 workers 1 from that city and the rest from Miami?????????????

  31. concerned resident says:

    I am very saddened to see Diane Veltri Bendovic won the mayoral race. I hope she will do her best for the betterment of Plantation and put politics aside. I will watch carefully. We have had many years with Carole Armstrong doing nothing except spending money. I voted but have to say I am also disenchanted with how politics are run. If you do not have enough money you cannot win. You have to compromise your ethics in order to win.

  32. Pissed off in Plantation says:

    Ha Ha who is winning now??? Not Diane! the city is so fucked up they dont even know what to do! hahahaha great pickins!!!