Article Courtesy of The
By Brittany Wallman
Published December 6, 2014
Political outsider Mark Bogen, an attorney, won the Broward County Commission primary Thursday night..
He had put an eye-popping $386,000 of his own money into the race, beating back four other Democratic candidates: Lisa Aronson, Charlotte Rodstrom, Carmen Dixon Jones and Terry
|“We worked very hard,'' Bogen said before the polls closed Tuesday night, after he'd stood for nearly 12 hours at the voter-rich Wynmoor condo community that he has represented for years as an attorney.
“I cannot feel my legs,'' he joked.
Hundreds of votes in that precinct alone helped carry him over the top of Aronson, the second top vote-getter. Aronson, who resigned as a Coconut Creek commissioner to run for the office, got 27 percent of the vote.
Bogen got 53 percent.
The tormented District 2 race was postponed twice and continues to be ensnared in litigation. Bogen won't be seated as a county commissioner until after a Jan. 13 general election in which he faces write-in candidate Tyron Francois, who will be represented on the ballot as a blank line for voters to fill in his name.
Additionally, a Florida Supreme Court challenge to Francois's candidacy is pending, an effort to have him removed from the race. Attorney Bill Scherer is seeking to have the election opened to voters of all parties.
Because of Francois's presence in the race, only Democrats could vote Thursday. Turnout was 9.3 percent, with 5,338 Democratic voters casting ballots. Those voting represent only 4.7 percent of the total electorate there.
The Broward District 2 area includes all of Coconut Creek and Margate and parts of Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach and Coral Springs. There are about 190,000 people living in the district.
The seat was held by Kristin Jacobs, but she was term-limited and won a seat in the state Legislature.
Bogen, 55, is a married father who moved to Broward from Palm Beach County last year. Last year he also became a Democrat, switching from
“NPA,” or No Party Affiliation.
He vowed not to take money from lobbyists or companies doing business with Broward County. He raised $60,615 in contributions, but then poured tens of thousands of his own money into the race for the job that pays $95,523 a year.
“When I do something, I try to do it the best extent that I can,'' he said Tuesday. “I've always wanted to be a public servant. In business, I try to succeed. In politics, I'm here to win.''
Aronson said she felt she ''gave every ounce of energy I had'' to the race, and considered it an opportunity to “meet some wonderful people throughout Broward County.''
She said she promised not to run for her seat on the Coconut Creek City Commission, if she lost Thursday. She said others had expressed interest in running, and she wanted to commit fully to the county race.
Asked about Bogen, who attacked her in negative mailers, she said, “I will say this. There's a very unique phenomenon in political campaigns with people trying to buy elections. To me, I don't have that kind of financial wealth to risk.''
In third place was Dixon Jones, the favored candidate of Broward Commissioner Dale
Coming in fourth was Rodstrom, wife of former Broward Commissioner John
Rodstrom. Charlotte Rodstrom had resigned a Fort Lauderdale City Commission seat in 2012 to run for County Commission, then lost that race, then lost a race to return to the City Commission, and now lost this race.
In last place was Williams-Edden.