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Crist: Vote for Sheriff Al Lamberti

Gov. Charlie Crist spoke at a fundraiser for Sheriff Al Lamberti at the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale today.

Crist appointed Lamberti to the sheriff's job to replace Ken Jenne last year. Lamberti, a Republican, will face North Bay Village Police Chief Scott Israel who survived a bruising Democratic primary.

Lamberti has about $400,000 in unspent donations since he didn't face a primary opponent. Israel starts with about $30,000 left in the bank.

Like Crist, Lamberti will have to fashion himself as a bipartisan politician to win. Droves of Democrats are expected to turnout to vote for Barack Obama in November and the question is whether they will automatically vote for other Democrats including Israel on the ballot.

A new poll released this week shows that Crist's popularity has faded, particularly among independents and Democrats.


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Wiley Thompson

This is Wiley Thompson. As a former assistant director of the FBI and former Democratic candidate for Sheriff, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you why I crossed party lines and am voting to keep Al Lamberti as Sheriff of Broward County. From community leaders such as city mayors, commissioners, and state legislators – to media outlets such as the Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald, to other civic organizations including the Police Benevolent Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Firefighters, the Teamsters Local 769, and the Broward 10-13 Club, we collectively believe that Sheriff Al Lamberti is the most qualified candidate to lead the 6300 employee agency in a full term of office.

When Al Lamberti was appointed Sheriff last year, history was made at the Broward Sheriff’s Office. For the first time in its 93-year history, a Sheriff came up through the ranks. Al Lamberti started as a Detention Deputy in the jail and worked his way through the agency in various positions before being appointed Sheriff by the Governor last year. Coupled with his experience in almost every department within the agency, Al Lamberti’s three decade plus career at the Broward Sheriff’s Office gives him a much stronger advantage than that of his opponent - an outsider - who recently resigned as police chief of North Bay Village, a twenty-man plus agency in North East Miami-Dade County.

The Sun-Sentinel says that if voters choose along party lines in the race for Sheriff, they would be making a mistake since partisan politics has no place in law enforcement. Professionalism over politics is why the Sun-Sentinel endorsed Al Lamberti for a full term as Sheriff stating “it’s about competence and integrity.” In support of professionalism over politics, Al Lamberti’s opponent was a lifelong Republican until he switched parties when passed over by Governor Crist for an appointment as Sheriff. The Miami Herald - in endorsing Sheriff Al Lamberti - stated that his opponent “would have a steep learning curve in directing a multifaceted agency with a $700 million budget and 6,300 employees.”

If you draw comparisons, you will realize there are none between Sheriff Al Lamberti and that of his opponent. Change for change sake is irresponsible. The size and multi-faceted complexities of the Broward Sheriff's Office demands the most seasoned and experienced on-the-job professional, not someone who switched his lifelong party affiliation to advance a career. With that said, I hope you will join me in supporting Sheriff Al Lamberti and vote to retain him as Sheriff of Broward County on November 4th.

Wiley Thompson

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