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Is God taking sides in a Fort Lauderdale race?

Forget about endorsements from unions and elected officials -- a much higher power has weighed in on a Fort Lauderdale City Commission race.

God helped Romney Rogers secure a first-place finish in the primary, according to a memo sent by Barbara Moody, his prayer team coordinator.

"God lifted His mighty hand and allowed Romney to receive the majority of the vote however we are still not finished,'' Moody wrote in an email sent last week. The full memo is posted on a blog by former City Commissioner Tim Smith at blog.timsmith.com.

But Moody's memo suggests not leaving the election soley in God's hands -- it's a call to action for mortals to talk up the candidate among their neighbors and distribute campaign literature.

Moody is a family friend who sends regular emails to campaign supporters, Rogers said.

"She wanted to pray for me,'' he said. "Of course it's great. Anybody who wants to pray for me I'm glad they are.''

Moody's email prompted graphic artist Cal Deal at http://www.fortlauderdaleobserver.com/ to post a drawing poking fun at Rogers. It's a takeoff on Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and is a picture of a svelte reclining naked man with Rogers' head attached and his brochures covering up his nether regions as God, who has brochures for opponent Coleman Prewitt, looks on and says "Sorry, Romney it's just too much of a stretch.''

Rogers chuckled at the parody.

"I wish my body looked like that,'' he said.

Social issues, including religion, are playing a role behind the scenes in the race to represent the southern, left leaning part of the city. Both candidates are Democrats, but they hail from different camps: Prewitt, who is openly gay, is a member of gay political groups and a newcomer who has only lived in the district for a year. Rogers has lived in the district for nearly his entire life and has been active in groups like the Rotary Club since the 1980s.

For the record, both go to church: Rogers goes to First Baptist Church while Prewitt prefers Metropolitan Community Church which reaches out to the gay community.

"Religion is not a part of my campaign because it is divisive,'' Prewitt said.

Rogers denies that religion is playing a role in the campaign. He says the campaign is about the experience of both candidates.

"We are talking about the difference between a guy who was born here, raised here, worked in the community 30 years and a guy born in Atlanta, grew up in Bell Glade and just moved to the district to run and has a law office in Boca,'' Rogers said.

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