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Team Holness Stuck Using Broward Benchwarmers After Powerful Friends Abandon His Campaign Kickoff

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.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis Will Not Run For U.S. Congress

Mr. Trantalis isn’t going to Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis decided against running for the seat in Congress previously held by Ted Deutch. Trantalis made the announcement Monday afternoon in Wilton Manors.

“I have heard from many friends and neighbors with advice on what I should do. I also have put a lot of time and effort into weighing the pros and cons of such a decision, including the impact on the city of Fort Lauderdale if I were to step down as mayor,” Trantalis said.

Trantalis highlighted his achievements while in office including the response to COVID-19, the Inter Miami stadium and the Florida Panthers’ project at War Memorial Audtiorium.

Mayor Trantalis said he still has “dreams” to fulfill regarding traffic issues and tunnels.

“While we are exploring innovative ways to solve traffic congestion, I want to continue to push for a commuter rail service that not only links the region but also protects the future of our emerging downtown by taking away the barriers that once separated communities,” Trantalis said. “I want to continue to push for a transit tunnel network that allows people to move more quickly between destinations, including between downtown and the beach.”

Here’s the full statement from Mayor Dean Trantalis:

In the weeks since U.S. Rep.Ted Deutch announced his retirement, I have given much thought to the idea of running for Congress. The people of South Florida deserve strong representation at this critical time in the history of our nation and world.

I have heard from many friends and neighbors with advice on what I should do. I also have put a lot of time and effort into weighing the pros and cons of such a decision, including the impact on the city of Fort Lauderdale if I were to step down as mayor. While I firmly believe I would provide excellent service to the region as a member of Congress, I have decided not to run.

When I first took office as mayor more than four years ago, I promised to the people of Ft. Lauderdale that we would lead our city in a bold and new direction. We would seek out solutions to the many challenges befitting a city of the 21stcentury. And, we would work more closely with the community to address our needs while the embracing change that stood at the doorstep of our diverse and welcoming community. I feel strongly that the vision and initiatives that I have put forth need to be seen through and expanded further, and that this requires me to continue to lead this great city.

We have made amazing strides in updating our infrastructure and creating a cosmopolitan, vibrant downtown. We are rebuilding an economy shaken by the global COVID-19 and are now attracting numerous start-up firms and industries in the high-tech and financial services fields.

We have enhanced our quality of life the city offers by building better parks and forming great partnerships. These have included our collaboration with InterMiami that led to the construction of a state-of-the-art soccer stadium and training facility at no cost to the taxpayers as well as joining with the Florida Panthers in which War Memorial Auditorium is being renovated and public ice rinks built. And, once again the glory of international swimming and diving competition will return to our city, including the tallest diving platform in the world.

While we are exploring innovative ways to solve traffic congestion, I want to continue to push for a commuter rail service that not only links the region but also protects the future of our emerging downtown by taking away the barriers that once separated communities. I want to continue to push for a transit tunnel network that allows people to move more quickly between destinations, including between downtown and the beach.

The decision to remain as your mayor has been made easier each time I attend a ribbon-cutting or join in the celebration of another milestone we have achieved. People are warm and appreciative. I do love our city. It truly is a great place to live, work, and enjoy.

I look forward to making each of our dreams possible. I also look forward to working with the next member of Congress.

Dale Holness A No-Show At His Broward Commission Send Off, City Mayor Says Holness Has COVID-19

***UPDATE*** Holness says COVID “got to him.” He says symptoms minor thanks to being vaccinated.

Never one to shy away from the spotlight, Dale Holness is missing from his big Broward County Commission send off. Holness gave up his District 9 seat to run for US Congress. Holness was defeated by political newcomer Sheila Cherfilus McCormick last month.

Holness attended today’s commission meeting via telephone. While Broward Mayor Michael Udine said Holness was not feeling well, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said Holness has COVID-19. Trantalis appeared at the request of Dale Holness.