FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Two familiar faces in Broward are becoming county commissioners.
Jared Moskowitz and Torey Alston will be appointed to open commission seats by Ron DeSantis, the governor announced at a news conference Tuesday morning in Fort Lauderdale.
“They’re obviously both from here, they kind of live and breathe Broward county, and they both have demonstrated records of service to the community,” said DeSantis.
They take those positions on Jan. 11, replacing Dale Holness and Barbara Sharief, who resigned to run for Congress.
Moskowitz, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas alumnus born in Coral Springs, was overseeing the state’s COVID-19 response as the Division of Emergency Management Director before resigning from that post in February so he could spend more time with his family.
“Let’s just hope that this appointment is nowhere near as eventful as the last job you gave me,” Moskowitz joked to DeSantis after the announcement.
The Parkland resident will represent District 8, the seat that has been held by Sharief. His term will run through November 2022.
“There are many items to tackle —infrastructure, economic development. But I want to work with all of our partners to continue the progress we have made in school safety following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting,” Moskowitz said.
A Democrat, Moskowitz’s work in public service began in 2006 when at age 25 he was elected to the Parkland City Commission while he was studying law at Nova Southeastern University. He also served as a state representative for District 97 — representing Coral Springs, Tamarac, Sunrise and Plantation — from 2012-2019.
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Alston, an alum of Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach and Florida A&M, was most recently the chief of staff for the Florida Department of Transportation. Prior to that, he was the chief of staff for Sharief and Commissioner Albert Jones, and he held positions with Miami Dade County Public Schools, the City of Gainesville, and the Florida Department of Management Services.
“I am ready to roll up my sleeves and serve the people of Broward County in District 9,” said Alston, of Fort Lauderdale. “As a kid who grew up right here in the district, attended public schools in the district, a proud resident of the district and a 4th generation member of the New Mile Baptist church, I know our community, I know our issues, and I’ll be a strong voice on the county commission.”
That was the district that had been represented by Holness. It is a deeply Democratic district, but Alston is a registered Republican.
“Torey Alston and Jared Moskowitz are both Broward County natives with demonstrated records of service to the community and proven ability to work across party lines to get things done,” DeSantis said. “I expect both to bring sane, rational leadership to the commission and look forward to working with them.”
Alston’s term runs through November 2024.
Political analysts from both sides of the aisle call the appointments “safe,” telling Local 10 News their familiarity to the area and the previous work with the governor should make for a smooth transition.
“It really is safe, the governor is showing the people of the state of Florida that he’s more concerned about the work the people do,” said Rico Petrocelli, Former Chair of Broward Republican Party.
Local 10 News asked Moskowitz if he would run for re-election in 2022, which would require him to move from Parkland to South Broward. Moskowitz said he hadn’t thought about it yet and was instead focusing on the present, and doing the best he can for District 8.