BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Gregory Tony, who was appointed Broward County sheriff by Gov. Ron DeSantis following the ouster of Scott Israel, will remain Broward’s top cop, voters decided on Election Day.
Tony defeated Israel, a fellow Democrat, in the August primary.
He faced Republican candidate H. Wayne Clark and Charles E. Whatley, who was running as a non-party affiliate, in the General Election.
See below for live results as the ballots are counted on Election Night:
H. Wayne Clark(R)
Charles "Chuck" Whatley
(577 / 577)
“I am honored that voters in our community have chosen me to continue to lead the Broward Sheriff’s Office," Tony said in a statement Tuesday evening. "While I’m thrilled with the progress we’ve made in the last two years––whether in providing better training for our staff, creating a better culture of accountability and transparency, or making our schools safer––there is still much to be done. Tomorrow, the work continues, and I will never stop working to keep this community safe, and to making BSO the best public safety organization in the nation.”
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony & his campaign have opted against a formal watch party tonight... the incumbent plans a quiet night as election results trickle in for his fight to remain the county’s top cop. @browardsheriff #Vote2020 #BSO @WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/yMKd2ihjZL— Terrell Forney (@TerrellWPLG) November 3, 2020
Tony opted not to have a formal watch party on Election Day, while Clark held his watch party at Wings Plus in Coral Springs, a well-known GOP clubhouse where many Republican candidates have visited.
Clark, an Army veteran and lawyer from Plantation, told Local 10 News that the fight is not over yet.
“The fight’s not over, we’re not giving up. We’re definitely not going to give up as long as Greg Tony is there. We’re not going to give up until he’s gone," Clark said. “What I’m fighting for is to make sure that the citizens of Broward County get to to elect the sheriff, and not the governor gets to appoint someone else.”
Clark previously said he believes he didn’t need to be a cop to lead the Broward Sheriff’s Office. He said he would draw on his experience in law, business and the military.
He also didn’t mince words that he was the underdog in this race.
Tonight, republican candidate for @browardsheriff H. Wayne Clark will be here at Wings Plus in Coral Springs, a well-known GOP clubhouse where many republican candidates have visited. Clark knows he’s an underdog, but insists @bsosherifftony is unfit for the job. @WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/Cy7PICdFPx— Ian Margol (@IanMargolWPLG) November 3, 2020
“The world loves an underdog, right? Broward County loves an underdog,” he said.
Despite being an underdog in this race, Clark questioned whether Tony is qualified for the position.
“Well, first and foremost, I don’t know if Gregory Tony is qualified to be a law enforcement officer. I think, you look at what’s come out in that primary race against him and certainly the questions the governor should have asked, as well as (the) FDLE,” Clark said.
Years ago, when Tony applied to work with the Coral Springs Police Department, he did not reveal that he shot and killed a man when he was 14 years old. Tony was found not guilty.
“There was no obligation for me to disclose obligation for me to disclose a childhood trauma where I didn’t commit a crime,” Tony said during an appearance on Local 10′s “This Week In South Florida.”
While Broward has about three times as many Democrats as Republicans, Watley ran as a non-party affiliate or NPA, and vowed to set aside politics while working with the people and law enforcement.
“I know that the democratic voters are not happy with their choice at their primary election of interim Sheriff Gregory Tony, but you have another choice,” he said in a campaign video. “You have to vote on Nov. 3 to get him out of office otherwise he will be there for another four years and you will have to deal with political lies and corruption, which means it could cost the lives of innocent civilians in Broward County.”
Watley urged residents to vote for him to “keep Broward safe and bring back honesty and integrity to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.”
Tony is expected to speak to reporters on Wednesday.
CLICK HERE and follow reporter Terrell Forney on Twitter, who is covering Gregory Tony tonight.
CLICK HERE and follow reporter Ian Margol on Twitter, who is covering H. Wayne Clark tonight.