BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - The race for Broward County Commission District 4 has been a contentious battle between Republican incumbent Chip LaMarca and Democratic challenger Ken Keechl, but 53 percent of voters have chosen to keep LaMarca as commissioner.
CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story, Local10.com erroneously reported Keechl as winner. We regret this error.
Local 10 News reporter Jeff Weinsier was with LaMarca in Lighthouse Point after the results were announced.
"I always show up -- I do the job that people want me to do," said LaMarca. "They don't check my party card at the door and I don't check theirs."
"Check his record for four years and check mine. We have $17 million in our bank account right now -- the money is in a reserve account -- and we're going to put sand on that beach. We did it after (Hurricane) Sandy. We repaired that beach after Sandy and we'll do it again for the next 20 years," said LaMarca.
Local 10 News also sent a reporter to the Fort Lauderdale home where Keechl was at, but the reporter was told Keechl had no comment.
Earlier this month, both candidates appeared on This Week in South Florida and sparks immediately began to fly.
"You haven't made your mortgage payment in four years," said Keechl while addressing LaMarca.
"I was hoping Mr. Keechl would not bring up personal attacks," said LaMarca.
"Is he not doing a good job?" Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg asked Keechl.
"Honestly and respectfully, he is not," said Keechl.
"I just don't know how you can be a lawyer and a lobbyist and a county commissioner all at the same time," said LaMarca.
Keechl is an attorney who held the District 4 seat in Broward County from 2006 to 2010 and wants it back. LaMarca won the seat four years ago and wants to keep it.
"Unemployment is almost in half and people are back to work and now it's time to get some of the projects finished -- the convention center, the hotel at the convention center, finish the work at Port Everglades -- just continue to finish the great projects that we started," said LaMarca.
Broward County's District 4 covers most of northeastern Broward. Seventy percent of the county's coastline is in this district and both agree the biggest issue is beach re-nourishment.
Keechl said LaMarca supported using tourist bed-tax dollars for a new scoreboard at the BB&T Center that would benefit the Florida Panthers -- a private company. He said that's money that should have been used for the beach.
"I brought $6.8 million back to Tallahassee and we just received a check for $10.1 million from the Army Corps of Engineers," said LaMarca. "So, not only have I not taken my eye off the ball, but that re-nourishment project is starting this season. As soon as the turtles go back out to sea we're going to be putting sand on that beach."
LaMarca also said the County owns the BB&T Center and new equipment attracts new business.
"And a return on investment," said LaMarca. "We have $125 million in business lined up for that arena."
LaMarca thinks constitutional officers like the sheriff, the property appraiser and the supervisor of elections should be appointed by the commission, not elected. Keechl does not. Both think there should be an elected strong mayor in Broward County.Broward County Commission - District 4
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