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Broward sheriff and union may be close to a deal

The union that represents Broward sheriff's deputies will soon vote on a new contract proposal that has become an issue in the sheriff's race.

In May the Police Benevolent Association overwhelmingly rejected a contract that included three percent raises for three years. The union wanted 5 percent raises.

Sheriff Al  Lamberti said a new proposal will allow deputies to take care of their families while still meeting budget cuts in the $700 million budget. But he wouldn't reveal the proposed pay increase.

Union negotiations this week coincided with the PBA screening candidates -- including Lamberti -- for the sheriff's race. The union endorsement isn't the key to winning the race but it would give a candidate or candidates a boost. Most of the Democratic candidates vowed to give the union 5 percent raises.

The Democratic contenders are Shak Dhanji, state human relations  commissioner; Scott Israel, chief of North Bay Village; Rick Lemack, assistant city manager in Hollywood; Bruce Udolf, defense attorney and Wiley  Thompson, former chief of staff to former Sheriff Ken Jenne. Israel and Lemack are on leave from their jobs.

The winner of the Aug. 26 Democratic primary will face Lamberti, the only Republican in the race, Nov. 4.