Sheriff Gregory Tony says he's running for office in 2020

Appointed sheriff set to square off against ousted Sheriff Scott Israel

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said he's running for office in 2020.

Tony made the announcement Monday afternoon outside the Broward County Governmental Center in Fort Lauderdale.

The sheriff, surrounded by his supporters, touted the steps he took to increase safety in Broward County and training standards within the Broward Sheriff's Office since he took over in January.

"I'm also proud to state that in agency of 104 years of experience, we finally have the most diverse command staff in the history of this agency," Tony said. "This is something that any sheriff before me could have done, but they chose to look away."

Tony was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis to replace suspended Sheriff Scott Israel. The Florida Senate recently upheld the decision to remove Israel from office.

Israel, who called the move politically motivated, has already filed for re-election.

Although he never mentioned Israel by name during his announcement, Tony hinted at him when discussing the reasons behind his decision.

"We can't allow for discredited politicians who continue to show poor leadership to come back," Tony said. "More of the same is not the answer. We need less talk and more action."

Tony also defended his decision to switch his registered political party affiliation from Republican to Democrat, saying he did so to be reflective of all of Broward County, which is predominantly Democratic.

"I've not been some lifelong Republican, unlike my predecessor, who was and only changed specifically for sake of winning," Tony said.

Israel was a Republican but became a Democrat to run for sheriff.

Suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel sits in a Florida Senate Rules Committee hearing as he fights to get his job back, Oct. 21, 2019, in Tallahassee, Florida.

"I made my change for sake of making sure I represent this community and doing the right thing for every single person who lives in Broward County," Tony continued.

Running as a Democrat means Tony must square off against Israel and eight other candidates in next year's primary election.

Tony said this office is about public safety, not political affiliations.

"When you dial 911, you don't call and ask for a Republican to show up," he said. "You don't dial and call and request that you see a Democrat."

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