Article Courtesy of The Sun
By Brittany Wallman
Published December 9, 2014
The race for Broward County Commission District 2 appears to be over. Finally..
The write-in candidate is dropping out, his attorney said late Friday.
That means there will be no Jan. 13 special election in which write-in candidate Tyron Francois was scheduled to compete against Thursday's primary winner, Mark Bogen.
|Bogen, a Democrat, is now commissioner-elect, and ready to be sworn in.
He's one step closer to office after a tormented race that was delayed from the August ballot to November to December, and remains locked in litigation.
"That's great!!" Bogen said when told. "... I'm looking forward to serving as soon as possible."
Francois didn't want to cost taxpayers $200,000 for the special election, said his attorney, Robert Vaughan. Elections officials were eager to reopen the office late Friday so Francois could withdraw.
Attorney Mark Bogen of Pompano Beach is the new Broward District 2 commissioner
Francois's statistical chances of winning were slim to none, his attorney acknowledged. No write-in candidate in Florida has ever won a general election. And Francois feared that if he runs for political office again, voters would remember the $200,000 cost of the special election, Vaughan said.
"The gentleman's opinion is that it is not a responsible way to spend taxpayer money," Vaughan said.
Francois already cost taxpayers for one special election, which was held Thursday.
Bogen, an attorney who lives in Pompano Beach, won the five-way Democratic primary with 53 percent of the vote,
The district includes all of Coconut Creek and Margate and parts of Pompano Beach, Deefield Beach and Coral Springs.
Litigation surrounding the race is still pending before the Florida Supreme Court. Attorney Bill Scherer was seeking to have Francois removed from the race; doing so would have opened the election to voters from all parties.
Because Francois was a write-in candidate, only Democrats were allowed to vote Thursday — a provision in Florida law that is often exploited for political reasons.
Scherer couldn't be reached for comment on whether he'd continue pursuing an election re-do.
Francois has "gone through hell" as a candidate, Vaughan said. He didn't think he'd win, but he also didn't think he'd be noticed, Vaughan said.
Quite the contrary. Besides drawing a lawsuit and throwing the race into a continual spin, he is under investigation by the Broward State Attorney's Office, after Scherer accused him of committing perjury in court, and of illegally conspiring to keep non-Democrats from voting in the election.
"We are hoping the investigation is being seen for what it is," Vaughan said. " ... He ever expected this circus."