The Dale Holness For Congress campaign promised a who’s who of powerful Broward leaders would attend his kickoff event on Tuesday evening. The flyers and emails boasted about the big names on Holness’ “host committee” while urging supporters to join them for a mere $10,000 campaign contribution. The host committee included Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony, Broward Clerk of Courts Brenda Forman, Broward State Attorney Harold Pryor, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis and even Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton.
Just one problem.
None of these powerful leaders showed up. Not a single one. They did not even send representatives to speak on their behalf.
When it came time to introduce Dale Holness, the emcee asked Tamarac Commissioner Elberg Mike Gelin to come to the podium. Oops, Gelin was not in attendance.
Instead, Team Holness relied on mere benchwarmers, C-listers among Broward’s elected officials, to introduce the former County Commissioner.
Backbenchers like Oakland Park Commissioner Mitch Rosenwald, Anthony Arserio of Margate and Lauderhill Commissioner Ray Martin sang the praises of Holness. Needless to say, these men did little to fire up the crowd gathered in the parking lot outside of Holness’ real estate office in Plantation.
Last year, Dale Holness was considered the front runner to replace Alcee Hastings in Congress. Holness’ campaign kickoff for that race drew three times the crowd, multiple media outlets as well as members of the Broward political elite.
But after losing to newcomer Sheila Cherfilus McCormick by five votes, Holness is a just another civilian with hopes of roaming the halls of Congress in Washington D.C.
Broward’s ruling class has abandoned him. The media covering his event was limited to the Sun-Sentinel and one television station.
Only one Broward Democrat party activist attended the festivities.
Holness’ daughter, Damara, was a no-show. Even Holness’ longtime “campaign guru” Omar Smith was absent.
But Dale Holness was not all alone.
Elberg Mike Gelin was very late. He made it just as the food was being served.
Tamarac Post founder Anthony Bonamy, a Holness aide, was in the crowd. Justin Porter, another former commission aide, was at Holness’ side.
Yet, the enthusiasm was missing. The loudest cheers came when the Stranahan High School basketball team was introduced.