By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Weds. Nov. 7, 2018: While many Caribbean immigrants in Florida and across the nation watched in distress and angst at the nail-biting gubernatorial and senate race in the state last night, some Caribbean roots candidates were celebrating wins in several local races in South Florida.
In Broward County, Jamaican-American attorney Jackie Powell made history by winning becoming the first female Jamaican-American judge to sit on the Broward County bench with 254,826 votes over 237,921 for her competitor Allison Gilman.
Powell is the managing attorney and owner of Jackie Powell & Associates, LLC. and she holds Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Florida Atlantic University. She received a Juris Doctor from Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law in 2003 and has been a member of the Florida Bar since 2003. She has over 14 years of experience in the areas of criminal and civil litigation and has handled numerous jury and bench trials.
In the two open seat races for Commissioner of Lauderhill City, Jamaican national, Richard Campbell, 62, who has lived in the city since 1994 and has served as a board member and president of his condo association, won Seat 2 with 45 percent or 8,314 of the votes.
Campbell is also the president of the Caribbean Americas Soccer Association and a physical therapist who has also worked as a social worker in New York and Florida.
And Jamaican Denise D. Grant resoundingly won Seat 4 on the Commission with 12,009 votes. Grant was migrated to the United States at the age of nine years old and lived in New Jersey before relocating to Lauderhill, Florida. She holds degrees in Organizational Leadership and International Relations.
STATE WIDE ELECTION
Meanwhile, the final results on the gubernatorial race left Republican Ron DeSantis winning by 80,000 votes over Democrat Gillum with exit polls revealed that voters concerned with health care and gun policy broke heavily for Democrats Gillum and Senator Bill Nelson while voters focused on immigration and the economy overwhelmingly supported DeSantis and Rick Scott.
In terms of race, about 13 percent of the Florida electorate are black and the majority voted for Gillum for Governor and Nelson for Senator.
Although the majority of white voters supported DeSantis, about 40 percent said they voted for Gillum. Similarly, about 40 percent of white voters say they voted for Nelson.
In counties with a large percentage of Caribbean and immigrant voters, Broward County and Miami-Dade, Gillum won over DeSantis by with 465,546 and 465,546 votes, respectively or 60 percent of the vote in Miami-Dade and 68 percent in Broward County against DeSantis.
Scott won by about 56,000 votes over Nelson to claim a coveted senate seat for the GOP. A series of polls in recent weeks had showed Scott losing the Senate race to Nelson because of weak support from women, Hispanics and independents. Those polls proved wrong, much as the 2016 presidential ones did.
But overall, turnout in Miami-Dade was put at around 55 percent while Broward’s turnout was roughly 54 percent.
Across the state, turnout stood at about 60 percent, compared to 51 percent in 2014.
Meanwhile, as the gubernatorial race in Georgia hung in the balance, Donna McLeod became the first Jamaican woman elected in the Georgia Assembly in District 105, Gwinnett County, winning over Republican Donna Sheldon with 13,378 votes. “I want to thank everyone who voted for me, and even if you didn’t vote for me, I am prepared to serve everyone in our district. In order for our district to continue to thrive we need to work together. I promise to keep you informed and involved because the greatness in our country requires our participation,” McLeod, who was born in Kingston, posted on Facebook last night.