Is the endorsement of controversial Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle a pro or a con?
We'll find out in the Feb. 10 primary and the March 10 general election. Commission candidate Coleman Prewitt sent a campaign brochure that says "Same ol' Same ol''' with an unflattering mug shot of opponent Romney Rogers and a mug of Naugle.
Naugle has endorsed Rogers and given his support to mayoral candidate Jack Seiler. Rogers, a longtime Fort Lauderdale resident, has a much bigger warchest and likely broader name recognition than Prewitt. But the question is whether linking Rogers and Naugle will help or hurt Rogers. Naugle was popular among residents for constituent services despite his comments that infuriated the gay community such as suggesting the city buy a six-figure individual-sized robotic toilet for the beach to cut down on gay sex in park bathrooms.
And Prewitt's campaign brochure omits that he is openly gay and has been active in the community -- raising the question about whether he wants to appeal to conservative voters or if he merely wants to avoid being labeled as only having support in one community.
Rogers has defended Naugle but in a recent interview also vowed to get along with everybody.
"I think (Naugle's comment) was taken a little out of context at times. He was talking about an issue that does on occur on occasion in terms of our public parks, not just gay sex -- just inappropriate conduct in the bathrooms. ... I would be the commissioner for everybody -- I wouldn't draw any lines or make any distinctions.''