Broward County

Hard-Fought Battle in Democratic Primary Race for Broward Sheriff

Two candidates who have already served as Broward sheriff, Scott Israel and Gregory Tony, have received the most visibility for their campaigns due in part to controversies

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It is one of the most closely-watched races in Broward. Who will come out on top on the Democratic side to be the odds-on favorite come November?

Two candidates who have already served as Broward sheriff, Scott Israel and Gregory Tony, have received the most visibility for their campaigns due in part to controversies surrounding their reelections.

Israel won the race for Broward Sheriff in 2012, and he was reelected in 2016. He was eventually pushed out of office following criticism of his handling of the 2018 Parkland shooting, which resulted in 18 fatalities after a gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Governor Ron DeSantis appointed current Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony to take his place in 2019. Tony's campaign for reelection has been marked by the revelation that he was involved in a shooting incident in Philadelphia when he was 14 years old.

A judge concluded that Tony had been defending himself and his brother, but he has been hammered this year for not disclosing the incident to DeSantis or when applying to police jobs.

Al Pollock is another leading contender. Pollock retired as BSO commander in 2017 after nearly 40 years with the agency. He picked up an endorsement from the union for the deputy sheriffs, the same union that gave no confidence votes to both Israel and Tony during their time as sheriff.

In addition to Tony, Israel and Pollock, who are considered to be the top contenders, three other candidates will appear on Tuesday's ballot on the Democratic side: Willie Jones, Andrew Maurice Smalling and Santiago C. Vazquez Jr.

The Democratic winner will be a strong favorite in the November general election as that party has a 50% to 21% advantage over the Republicans in registration. Tony and Israel are former Republicans. The two candidates battling it out on the Republican side are H. Wayne Clark and Casimiro Navarro.

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