Al Lamberti reflects on losing reelection

Incumbent Broward Sheriff loses to Scott Israel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti reflected on losing his reelection bid to Scott Israel.

"You know, when you have a defining moment in your life, and becoming sheriff, that was mine, there's also a reality check, and, Tuesday night, I got my reality check," Lamberti told Local 10 Crime Specialist John Turchin.

Scott Israel defeated Lamberti in the race for Broward Sheriff on Tuesday.

"I'm a little shocked. I'm a little disappointed," said Lamberti.

"What happened?" asked Turchin.

"I don't know. I still can't figure out how it happened," replied Lamberti. "Maybe I underestimated how much party affiliation would've come to bear."

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Lamberti also believes Israel's television and radio campaign contributed.

"It's negative, negative, negative, and you barrage them with that, you know," said Lamberti. "I think eventually it makes an impact on the voters. You're hearing it enough, you assume it's truth."

Lamberti hoped voters focused on his record and his 35 years in law enforcement, not what he called misinformation by the Israel camp.

Lamberti wanted to set the record straight on several things, including Israel's insistence that the Broward Sheriff's Office needs to be more diverse.

"The criticism of diversity -- totally bogus," said Lamberti. "Right now, it's 33 percent African American, 15 percent Hispanic, 1 percent Asian, and that doesn't count gender."

Lamberti also took issue with Israel telling voters he supports racial profiling.

"Why would I ever support or endorse racial profiling? I have two black grandsons," said Lamberti.

Lamberti insisted his comments weren't sour grapes.

"He won the election fair and square. Now, it comes time for him to do the job," said Lamberti. "It's challenging. Whether he's up to that, we're going to have to wait and see. Whether he's capable or not, that remains to be seen."

Lamberti, who was the first and only Broward Sheriff to come up through the ranks, admitted his reelection bid didn't turn out how he expected it.

As for it being the fight of his life? Lamberti said it wasn't. Instead, it was when he defeated cancer in 2004.

To hear from Lamberti about his plans after losing his reelection bid, you can friend him on Facebook.

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