‘I was astonished’: Cherfilus-McCormick accuses Holness of running smear campaign

Former Broward County Mayor Dale Holness is facing accusations that he is running a "smear campaign" against his political opponent.

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Democratic U.S. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick said her political opponent during this election season, former Broward Commissioner Dale Holness, has gone too far.

Cherfilus-McCormick is the incumbent for Congressional District 20. She said she decided to file a lawsuit against Holness because he was committed to a smear campaign.

“I was astonished that he would go to such great lengths to make up such lies,” said Cherfilus-McCormick, of Miramar.

Holness denied the accusation and asked, “Is anyone questioning all that she has put on television, radio or print against me?

Holness said he is the one whose reputation is being smeared, but he couldn’t provide any proof. There is plenty of evidence backing what Cherfilus-McCormick alleges.

“We are running a campaign powered by grassroots supporters. We don’t need to embezzle $6 million in tax payers dollars to buy a seat in congress. Our opponent may think she can do that,” Justin Porter, an aid to Holness, wrote in a text message.

That is evidence Cherfilus-McCormick included in her lawsuit. Holness also said that he had yet to receive a copy of the libel lawsuit that Cherfilus-McCormick said she filed.

“Her name is not mentioned in the text ... It’s pure opinion. Nothing says that anybody did or didn’t do. It says maybe,” Holness said adding, “There is no reference to her at all.”

The primary election is on Aug. 23.

About the Author:

Michael Putney came to Local 10 in 1989 to become senior political reporter and host of "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney." He is Local 10's senior political reporter.