The Parkland resident will replace outgoing Commissioner Barbara Sharief.
Gov. Ron DeSantis proved Tuesday there are some Democrats he likes.
Jared Moskowitz, a former Democratic Representative from Parkland and the state’s former director of Emergency Management, will replace Barbara Sharief to represent District 8 on the Broward County Commission, DeSantis announced Tuesday.
Torey Altson, current chief of staff for the Florida Department of Transportation, will replace Dale Holness to represent District 9, DeSantis also announced.
“They both have records of putting service above self,” Desantis said, as the families of both men surrounded him at a news conference Tuesday.
The two appointees will serve until November 2022, when voters head to the polls for the mid-terms.
“I’m thankful to the Governor,” Moskowitz said, pointing out that this is his second DeSantis appointment. “The ability to serve my community and stay close to my family is a humbling opportunity and I look forward to serving the residents of District 8 and Broward County in the same manner and vigor I’ve been serving my fellow Broward and Florida residents since I was 25 years old.”
Alston said his passion for public service also started at a young age.
“I am ready to roll up my sleeves and serve the people of Broward County and district 9,” Alston said. “As the Governor said, ‘There is no place like home.’”
Sharief and Holness, both County Commission members since 2010, resigned to run for the seat vacated when U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings died in office April 6. Both were defeated in the Nov. 2 Democrat Special Primary Election by Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick.
Moskowitz said he’s glad to be back on the dais. He started his political career when he was first elected to the Parkland City Commission.
As a state Representative, Moskowitz helped steer his community through the aftermath of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He resigned from House District 96 in 2019 to accept DeSantis’ appointment running the state’s Emergency Management Division. He became nationally known as the “master of disaster” as he led the state’s response to hurricanes, a pandemic and then a hurricane during a pandemic.
His resignation from the DeSantis administration was national news when he announced he was returning to Parkland so he could spend more time with his wife and young sons. Since then he’s taken a job with Miami-Dade County government working on emergency management.
Appointees to the Broward County Commission don’t have to live in the district, as elected members do. Moskowitz’s district includes Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Hallandale Beach, Pembroke Park and West Park.
Holness’ replacement will represent parts of Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Sunrise, Lauderhill, Oakland Park, North Lauderdale, Lauderdale Lakes and the communities of Roosevelt Gardens, Washington Park, Boulevard Gardens and Franklin Park.
Alston, a Republican, was the chief of staff for Sharief and had considered running for Broward County School Board.
DeSantis has appointed Republicans to some key South Florida positions when vacancies have arisen. He installed Pete Antonacci, a long-time Rick Scott ally, to replace Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes in 2018. He replaced Palm Beach’s three-term Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher in 2019 with a Republican, Wendy Sartory Link, who later bucked her party affiliation, according to the Sun Sentinel.
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