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Will the lone R on Broward Commission face a rematch?

Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca, the lone Republican on the nine-member board, could face a rematch against Democrat Ken Keechl in 2014.

LaMarca filed for re-election Friday in District 4 which spans parts of multiple cities in northeast Broward including Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach. 

Keechl told the Miami Herald in an email Monday "I'm seriously considering running for my old seat. A lot of people are encouraging me to run for Broward County Commission District 4 or House seat 93 [held by State. Rep. George Moraitis (R-Fort Lauderdale)]. I'll decide before the summer is over."

The redistricted seat is ripe for a Democratic challenger because it leans about seven points Democratic, up from five. This has been the one swing district on the commission in recent years: Keechl beat Republican and former state legislator Jim Scott in 2006 and became the county's first openly gay commissioner.

While the Democratic wave helped Keechl in 2006, LaMarca benefitted from a Republican wave in 2010 that also elected U.S. Rep. Allen West whose district included northeast Broward. 

LaMarca's grassroots campaign was one of those rare Broward races where the underfunded candidate wins: he raised about one-quarter of Keechl's $600,000 warchest. But Keechl's big bucks were part of his undoing: he was criticized for lavish campaign spending. 

Last year, Keechl lost a bid to return to the commission in another district. He moved into a house that he and his partner own in District 7. Keechl said if he decides to challenge LaMarca he will move back to District 4. According to the county charter, a commissioner "must be a resident of the particular district upon election."

LaMarca, a former Broward GOP chair, will have to emphasize non-partisan issues to win the race. He says he will focus on the county budget and topics such as maintaining libraries and beach renourishment. 

"We saved two beach libraries and actually improved them when they were in danger of being removed," he said, referring to Galt Ocean mile branch and a library in Pompano Beach. 

The big unknown for both LaMarca and Keechl is whether Broward voters will get excited about any of the statewide candidates on the ballot to lead to better turnout than the dismal 41 percent from 2010.

 

Comments

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Broward GOP

Chip LaMarca is under some deep water. This may be when he loses his election and gets hired as a lobbyist.

Dist 4 Resident

Hmm I didnt know Chip was a Republican...

His Treasurer just threw a birthday party for Rep. Patrick Murphy

He supports a bailout of Lauderdale Lakes when the city just raised taxes to the highest permissible under the law and LaMarca has commented himself the city is barely solvent.

He just gave 15k of tax payer money to Haitian Day group.

He just voted against 911 against the best interestes of the residents of Fort Lauderdale and Pompano who paid their fair share for 911 while the other cities were speculated to pay nothing (LHP?) or reduced rates (other bso contract cities)

He is in foreclosure and didnt even graduate college

Serously?

RINO on a good day and a total sellout to Republican values every other day if you ask me.

District 4c

Yep, Republican as Republican they come.

From the Miami Herald

Rookie Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca, a Republican who ran on a platform that included fiscal responsibility, is facing foreclosure on his homestead.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/12/2892496/broward-commissioner-chip-lamarca.html

Jan J

LaMarca is a disgrace. Good riddance.

District 4 voter

Keechl will tank in 4 the same as he did in 7. LaMarca is everywhere, all the time. No contest. LaMarca will once again be on the dais in 2014. If love to know who the "lot of people" are who are encouraging him to run are? Probably friends of LaMarca as they know Keechl as an opponent would mean an easy win!

RedB

District 4 voter: really? I'm neutral in this one, but Lamarca is in real trouble. If you believe that Keechel is an easy opponent then you are drinking the kook aid.

Hamburger Mary

He couldn't even get 3K votes in District 7- Lamarca may not win in District 4 but it certainly won't be KEECHL that unseats him! He is one of the most disliked politicians in Broward... even in the gay community, that whole dog thing killed him there.

Ryan Michel

You bunch of lossers Chip is the best. Just because someone didn't go to colege doent mean they are not smart. Som go on to be marines and stuff and they are good too. Do you see how often Chip is on Facebook in his community? He isso smart he don't even work a real job he just work commission. Keechle don't even have gays, I hear ron albetter and mike mills are important gays dudes who gonna work with Chip. You people are so dumb, don't judge chip cuase he couldn't get through college, judge him on all accomplishment and stuff asa elected person n stuff.

Hamburger Mary

^ Hence the reason why it's a lock for Lamarca. I rest my case.

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