Robert McKinzie holds off former friend to win election to Broward Commission

Victory marks an ascension for the former Fort Lauderdale Commissioner.

Better funding beat a longer history in Broward County politics Tuesday as Robert McKinzie won a seat on the Broward County Commission, outpolling the man who recruited McKinzie to take his seat on the Fort Lauderdale City Commission.

With all 53 precincts reporting Tuesday, McKinzie, who recently left the City Commission, secured 47% of the vote compared to 40% for former Rep. Bobby DuBose. Aude Sicard, a community organizer, came in third at 13%.

McKinzie, who stepped down from the Fort Lauderdale City Commission to pursue the County Commission seat, will be representing District 8 which covers parts of Coconut Creek, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Margate, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Wilton Manors and parts of unincorporated Broward County.

The contest featured a rivalry between former friends. When DuBose was elected state Representative in 2014, he recruited a three-time County Commission candidate to run for his seat on the Fort Lauderdale City Commission. Now that candidate, McKinzie, outraised DuBose and outspent him as the two battled for the open seat on the Broward County Commission.

And DuBose told the Sun-Sentinel editorial board he wishes he’d never backed McKinzie 12 years ago.

“When you make a mistake, the best thing to do is to be man enough to say, ‘You know what? I made a mistake,’” DuBose told the editorial board.

McKinzie will fill the seat being vacated by Jared Moskowitz. Moskowitz was appointed to fill that seat when Barbara Sharief resigned to run for Congress last year. It’s a majority-minority district with pockets of poverty critics say have been neglected.

McKinzie came to the race with a good deal more money: $151,500. He was able to raise $134,597 more and spend $242,501.

That’s more than twice DuBose’s spending, which hit $84,000 total in the campaign, as of Aug. 18. DuBose came to the race after resigning his seat in the Legislature to run for U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings seat, the same seat Sharief ran for. 

Meanwhile, Sicard was a distant third in the money race for the seat. She raised $38,000 for her campaign.

The Sun-Sentinel lauded DuBose’s achievements in the Legislature such as championing compensation for those wrongfully imprisoned, for example. But the endorsement ultimately went to McKinzie for his grasp of local issues and what special knowledge he could bring for curing the housing affordability crisis because he’s a home builder. McKinzie also won a nod from the Broward Teachers Union.

DuBose received endorsements from the Broward Young Democrats, Broward, Palm Beaches & St. Lucie Realtors and the Dolphin Democrats and Equality Florida, both LGBTQ political groups.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


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