Playing in a sandstorm can cost you your race

  Trails In The Sand by Peter Traceit, the Street Detective

Ol Street Detective, Peter Traceit, has been dragging through the sands of local politics and has stopped to examine the sandy dastard-liness of a few candidates in races at the state and local levels. Walking through the sands can be an arduous and slow process, but when you add water to the sand and get some sand slinging, things can get all the more interesting.

Bob vs Bob: The tell of two Bobs, Dubose and Mc-Kinzie, are each engaging constituents, and they each have a strong following. Traceit has learned that when these Bobs are running for different seats, they each are pulling in many of the same supporters.

A little deeper sleuthing by the detective has revealed that the “common supporters” between these two exceed 50 percent.

But if yard signs, billboards, social media presence and people wearing your campaign shirts are any indication of who’s winning, Robert “Bob” Mckinzie has buried Bobby “Bob” Dubose six feet under dirt. The Detective has learned that the truth of the matter is that “woke” constituents are still salty with Dubose and the four other politicians who gave up their seat to run for Alcee Hasting’s US Senate seat… and to add more salt to the wound, they all lost. Bob Dubose is going to need a miracle of a sand dune proportion to beat Bob McKinzie.

Speaking of the Alcee Hastings’ US Senate seat that a half dozen politicians were vying for, it appears that all but Dale Holness learned their lesson and bowed out of the race this time around. If you recall, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick defeated Holness by a single digit, five votes. There was a lot of sand slinging with both candidates declaring victory at some point, but Cherfilus-McCormick was finally hailed the victor. Now, here we are less than six months out from that victory, and Holness and Cherfilus-McCormick are on the campaign trail again. This time, they are using red clay from the hills of Georgia for the mudslinging. Holness is reminding voters of Cherfilus-McCormick’s promise of $1,000 a month in her prosperity plan that she has conveniently buried in the sand. Any mention of it in her campaign website or billboard has been like beach sand washed out to sea. In her fight back, Cherfilus-McCormick is slinging mud on Holness’s children and an associate who became entangled in the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) where they both applied for and received money fraudulently. Holness’ daughter, Damara Holness, pled guilty to defrauding the government of $300,000. Daughter Holness was sentenced to 20 months in prison and ordered to pay back the money.

Omar Smith, a political consultant to Dale Holness’ campaign, also defrauded the federal government in the PPP scam. He recently pled guilty and is awaiting sentencing. Smith could be sentenced up to 30 years.

While Dale Holness has not been charged with PPP fraud, Cherfilus-McCormick is alluding, “where there’s smoke there’s fire and where there’s beach, there’s sand.”

Holness continued his digs at Cherfilus-McCormick, accusing her of embezzling $6 million dollars to run her campaign and taking money from Governor Ron DeSantis and Former President Donald Trump, suggesting that she is playing in the sand with Republicans. Cherfilus-McCormick vehemently denied this and filed a lawsuit against Holness for libel and defamation.

Despite Holness’ attempt to drag Cherfilus-McCormick through the mud, her popularity is growing, and the endorsements are plenty. The Street Detective has learned that in the past Holness has been the favorite in Caribbean communities, but don’t count Cherfilus-McCormick out. She comes from Caribbean roots herself and her strong courage and resilience have paid off for her thus far. If the Street Detective was a betting person, I would be shoveling sand on Holness again,  giving McCormick the win by a slim margin of victory.

Barbara Sharief is another local politician who abandoned her Broward County Commission seat and set her eyes on the congressional seat of the late Alcee Hastings. Like all other sitting politicians who jumped out of the good sand box to win another, Sharief lost miserably to Cherfilus-McCormick. The Detective surmised that once Sharief cleared the sand from her eyes and mouth, she decided against challenging Cherfilus-McCormick again. Instead, Sharief set her eyes on incumbent Lauren Book’s District 35 Senate seat. Both Sharief and Book hail from South Florida, Broward County to be exact, but there is no love between the two. The sandstorm began almost immediately with Book and her campaign accusing Sharief of “defrauding Medicaid”. An audit found that Sharief’s home health care company had overbilled the Medicaid program for patient care. Sharief’s company paid about $700,000 in settlements; however, Sharief did not admit to any wrongdoing as a part of the settlement. In response to the sand cuts, Sharief announced that she was filing a one-mil-lion-dollar lawsuit against Book for libel and defamation. Book was bold and brazen in her response until the lawsuit was filed. Book then began backtracking in the sand saying that she had nothing to do with the political action committee (PAC) that made some of the claims and none of the mailers containing the smears against Sharief came directly from her or her campaign. What a sand-storm!!!

This race is one that is too close to call. Again, if The Street Detective was a betting person, I would put money on the incumbent, Senator Lauren Book, by a slim margin. But I am also reminded that Grandma said to always bet on Black. Only time will tell.

With no opponent in her race, one would think there are no trails in the sand to follow for Senator Rosalind Osgood’s state senate race. While mud-dying up races with 5 or 6 candidates seeking the same seat is not advantageous at all for candidates or constituents, it is equally troubling when a candidate runs unopposed.

Because Oz lacks competition in her race, she continues to loiter in the sands of her old Broward School seat creating confusion and questions.

Luckily for the democratic process and for the winner of the District five School Board race, Oz will need to run again in 2024. Ol’ Peter will be dragging through the sands to see if there is a young (or older) budding politician who is willing to give Oz a run. When there is more than one candidate in a race, it gives voters an option, forcing both candidates to earn the support of voters.

Ol’ Peter will continue drag- ging through the sand for more leads and news, while not trying to throw sand in anyone’s eyes.

About Carma Henry 21268 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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