Fort Lauderdale voters get to pick from experienced commissioners to elect new mayor

Former police chief faces real estate attorney and activist Tuesday

By Michael Putney, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Fort Lauderdale voters will choose from three candidates to elect their new mayor Tuesday. The next mayor faces the challenge of decaying infrastructure amid growing development. 

Charlotte Rodstrom, 64, is a mother and community activist, Bruce Roberts, 69, is a father of two and the former Fort Lauderdale Police Department's chief and Dean Trantalis, 64, is a real estate attorney who is openly gay.  

The three candidates have experience as city of Fort Lauderdale commissioners. Roberts, who has the most experience with the city, has been serving since 2009 and is the current vice mayor. Rodstrom served from 2006-2012 and two terms as vice mayor. 

Trantalis, who was born and raised in Norwich, Connecticut, moved to Fort Lauderdale about 35 years ago. He served as commissioner from 2002-2006 and was re-elected in 2013 when he ran against Rodstrom.

"Fort Lauderdale needs a change, a new culture, a change or vision," said Trantalis, who is the Sun-Sentinel's Editorial Board's pick

Roberts and Rodstrom also believe that there is a need for change. They debated Thursday night at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

During the debate, Trantalis and Rodstrom said they both support development moratoriums in downtown. The three candidates oppose the Wave, a streetcar line estimated to cost about $200 million.  

One of the candidates must receive more than 50 percent of the votes. If no one does, the two top candidates have to run for the March 13 election. 

Other elections in the city:

District 1: Heather Moraitis is running unopposed

District 2: George Castrataro, Steven Glassman, Chadwick Maxey, Tim Smith and Lester Zalewski. 

District 3: Donna Guthrie, Marie Huntley and Robert McKinzie.

District 4: Walter Duke, Dr. Ben Sorensen and Dr. Warren Sturman.

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