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How will Sheriff Gregory Tony no-confidence vote affect the 2020 election?

Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony and his predecessor Scott Israel are the two favorites on the ballot, even though both lost the confidence of their deputies.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Now, both of the top candidates in the 2020 race for Broward Sheriff have received no-confidence votes from their deputies.

The question is, does that create an opportunity for someone else to step up? Or are Sheriff Gregory Tony and his predecessor Scott Israel too strong to beat when the public hits the polls?

Deputies in the Broward Sheriff’s Office voted no confidence in Tony on Monday, a ballot that stemmed from the amount of protective gear provided during the coronavirus pandemic and Tony’s discipline of the union leader’s vocal opposition.

In April 2018, deputies voted no confidence in Israel, who was eventually removed by Gov. Ron DeSantis for his handling of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre.

Yet Bob Jarvis, professor at Nova Southeastern University’s Broad College of Law says, “If I had to bet, I would say this is a two-man race.”

Jarvis literally wrote the book on the history of the Broward Sheriff’s Office. And like so many others in the county, he wonders what will happen when Tony and Israel meet on the ballot of the democratic primary election on Aug. 18.

“It is amazing that the two people, the only two viable candidates at this point, one is a disgraced former holder of the office,” Jarvis said. “And then you have Sheriff Tony, whose credentials were very, very thin before he was appointed.

“Certainly the election is there for the taking if somebody wants to take it,” Jarvis added. “It just has to be somebody who is high-visibility because of something they’ve done in their life or they have a lot of money.”

A dozen candidates filed for the race, but Tony and Israel are the clear heavyweights and have outraised the others significantly. The only one close is former BSO colonel Al Pollock, also a Democrat, who says he’s trying to let people know he’s a strong option.

Al Pollock, a former Broward Sheriff's Office colonel, is running for Sheriff against Gregory Tony and Scott Israel. He joined Local 10 News' Ian Margol for an interview.

"I think the timing is right. I think the people in Broward County want change,” Pollock said. “What [the no-confidence votes] shows me and it shows the people of Broward County is that they failed, that there was a failure. It’s not that BSO is a failure, this occurs at the top.”

Pollock, though, has work to do to catch up in funding and simply doesn’t have the name recognition that Tony and Israel have.

Asked what he thinks about a third candidate making the primary interesting, Israel says he isn’t concerned.

“I’m just worried about myself. I’m really truly not concerned with any of the other opponents,” Israel said. “As our moms told us when we were younger about the truth, if it doesn’t come out in the wash, it comes out in the rinse.”

Israel also noted that this is a vote of the public in Broward County.

"The people have never lost confidence in me,” he said. “I think that the election on August 18th will show that Broward County wants me to come back.”

Local 10 News reached out to Tony on Tuesday for comment. His media relations staff referred us to his statement from Monday where he said he’s working to unite the department and provide the best service possible to Broward County.

About the Author:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.