Trantalis, Roberts advance to runoff election for Fort Lauderdale mayor

Voters also choose city commissioners

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – City Commissioners Dean Trantalis and Bruce Roberts will advance to a March 13 runoff election after voters cast their ballots for Fort Lauderdale mayor Tuesday.

With 46 percent of vote, Trantalis came out on top in the three-way race, but he fell short of the 50 percent needed to win the election outright.

"I think we've got a lot of support tonight, and we're so close to 50 percent," Trantalis said. "I'm hoping to work with all the other people who voted for their own candidate tonight."

Trantalis, who's openly gay, casts himself as a change agent.

He's been serving on the city commission since 2009 and is a longtime champion of equal rights.

Community activist Charlotte Rodstrom, a former city commissioner, was eliminated from the race.

Trantalis and Roberts, the former chief of police for Fort Lauderdale, are vying to replace longtime Mayor Jack Seiler.

"We have a lot of work to do to get out the vote, to wake up some people," Roberts said. "We had a 12 percent turnout. That's a little bit higher than normal but still not enough."

The next mayor will take the reins as the city struggles to properly maintain failing water and sewer pipes, control heavy traffic, deal with persistent homelessness and handle a wave of dense development.

Voters also chose city commissioners Tuesday:

  • District 1: Heather Moraitis ran unopposed.
  • District 2: Steven Glassman and Tim Smith will move on to the runoff election. 
  • District 3: Robert McKinzie won the election outright with 54 percent of the vote.
  • District 4: Dr. Ben Sorenson and Warren Sturman will move on to the runoff election.