One thing is for sure. There will be a new Mayor in Fort Lauderdale in 2009 for the first time since 1991. Term limits kick in next year!
In 2000, voters overwhelming adopted term limits (proposed by Tim Smith) for the first time in the City’s history. The Mayor and Commissioners can serve three – three year terms. The term limits were not retroactive, but started with the adoption of the new law. The current Mayor, old what’s his name, has served as Mayor since 1991 (and served as a Commissioner before that since 1985), and will retire having been the longest serving Mayor in the City’s history.
So the fight is on. Fort Lauderdale is the largest City in Broward County, with 170,000 + residents, and a daytime population that has been estimated to be nearly 500,000 people. The Fort Lauderdale Mayoral position is arguably the highest profile job in a County of over one and a half million people.
Cindi Hutchinson, a Fort Lauderdale Commissioner since 2000, is the only announced candidate so far. The primary election is scheduled for February of 2009, with a run-off election in March.
Jack Seiler, is currently a State Representative in a District that serves much of Fort Lauderdale and served as Mayor of Wilton Manors before that. He has said publicly that he intends to get in the race, though as of yet has not declared.
There is speculation about other candidates. Many believe that Romney Rogers, grandson of U.S. Representative Dwight Rogers Sr., is eyeing the Mayor’s race. He is a neighbor of Jim Naugle, and is rumored to have been encouraged by Naugle to enter the race. Naugle’s endorsement could help a relatively unknown candidate such as Rogers in a crowded field. Other names being talked about include current Commissioners Teel and Rodstrom, though both have said publicly that they intend to run for additional terms as Commissioners. Two former Commissioners, Aurelius and Trantalis, are consistent rumors, though neither have motioned any intentions of jumping in. Lastly, many believe former Commissioner Tim Smith is positioning himself for a run, but has said publicly that him “chewing glass” sounded more plausible.
We will continue to monitor developments. Let me know what you think.