By David Smiley
MIAMI — Ousted Broward Sheriff Scott Israel took another step on his comeback campaign Monday when he filed the paperwork to launch a reelection bid.
Israel, first elected in 2012 and again in 2016, lost his job as Broward’s top cop in January when newly elected Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended him from office and blamed him for the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s botched response to the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Israel, 63, is challenging his removal.
But regardless of whether he’s reinstated by the Florida Senate — which under Florida law has the power to overturn a governor’s suspension — Israel would need to be elected in 2020 in order to run the agency going forward.
He began that process Monday when he walked into the Broward Supervisor of Election’s office and submitted paperwork to open a campaign account.
Israel did not respond immediately to a text message seeking comment.
Last week, a state panel voted unanimously to revoke BSO’s accreditation, citing the agency’s mishandling of the response to shootings in Parkland and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport as the grounds for its decision.
Israel will presumably run against Gregory Tony, the former Coral Springs sergeant DeSantis appointed to run BSO upon Israel’s suspension.
Tony, who owns a firm specializing in mass casualty incidents, has not yet filed paperwork but has said he will run to keep his job in 2020.
Israel, a Democrat, joins a crowded field. H. Wayne Clark, Willie Jones, Al Pollock, David Rosenthal, Andrew Maurice Smalling, and Santiago C. Vazquez Jr. have already opened campaigns, though none of the candidates has raised much money to date.
This article originally appeared in the Florida Courier.