Gregory Tony qualifies for ballot as he seeks another term as Broward Sheriff
Gregory Tony speaks. Will it help?

Tony once again will have to navigate a crowded Democratic Primary to secure re-election.

Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony has officially qualified in his bid for re-election to another four-year term.

Records submitted with the county show Tony paid the $14,358.96 qualifying fee with a check dated June 11. That puts him on track to compete in a contested Primary to retain his job as head of the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO).

“I am profoundly grateful for the unwavering support from my community and the tireless dedication of my team,” Tony said in a prepared statement about qualifying in the contest.

“As Sheriff, my foremost commitment has been prioritizing the safety and well-being of Broward County families. Seeking reelection is about more than celebrating our achievements; it’s about sustaining our momentum in bolstering said safety and prosperity for all. I am excited for our future achievements and eager to extend my tenure as Sheriff to further serve the Broward community.”

As of this posting, three other candidates have qualified. Two are Democrats — Steven Geller and Al Pollock — setting up a Primary contest for the Democratic nomination. Geller previously worked for the Plantation Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), while Pollock is a former Broward Sheriff’s Office colonel.

Independent candidate Charles Edward Whatley has also qualified.

Democratic candidate David Howard, ex-Chief of the Pembroke Park Police Department, has yet to qualify. But he has raised the second-most money in the contest, behind Tony. Howard has until Friday at noon to qualify.

Tony leads the field with nearly $136,000 raised through his candidate account. He had just over $107,000 still on hand as of the latest fundraising reports. His political committee, Broward First, holds nearly $682,000 more.

Howard has raised nearly $63,000 but has just over $1,000 of that remaining. Geller has collected more than $53,000, and has just under $43,000 still on hand. Pollock has added more than $33,000, and retains a little less than $18,000.

Whatley, the independent candidate, has raised just over $9,100 and has more than $7,900 still on hand.

Pollock lost to Tony in a highly watched Primary in 2020. Tony that year fended off former Sheriff Scott Israel, as well as businessman Willie Jones and former BSO deputies Andrew Smalling and Santiago Vazquez Jr., as Tony faced a series of controversies about his past. Those include previous LSD use and Tony’s fatal shooting of an 18-year-old when Tony was only 14.

Tony did not disclose those issues prior to Gov. Ron DeSantis appointing him as Sheriff after the Governor removed Israel due to BSO’s response to the 2018 Parkland shooting. Controversy has continued to swirl around Tony, with the latest hurdle being the FDLE recommending that a Judge temporarily suspend Tony’s law enforcement certification.

Nevertheless, Tony is moving forward with his re-election effort.

After navigating a crowded Primary field in 2020, Tony easily won re-election in November of that year in deep blue Broward County. So far, no Republicans have even bothered to file this cycle with just one day left in qualifying. That means, once again, that the Democratic Primary will likely decide the county’s next Sheriff.

The Primary contest takes place Aug. 20.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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