Broward County Commission Gets Two New Members

Sheri-Kae McLeod

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has filled two vacancies on the Broward County Commission, left by Barbara Sharief and Dale Holness.

At a news conference in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday, DeSantis named Former Director of the state's Division of Emergency Management Jared Moskowitz and chief of staff for the state's Department of Transportation Torey Alston to the commission.

Moskowitz, a 40-year-old Democrat, was born in Coral Springs. He worked as an intern for Vice-President Al Gore, served as an assistant on Joe Lieberman's 2004 presidential campaign, and in 2008 served as one of Barack Obama's electors in Florida. While attending law school, Moskowitz was elected to the Parkland City Commission in 2006 and was re-elected in 2010, serving until he resigned to run for the legislature in 2012.

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He was a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2012 until 2019, when DeSantis appointed him director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. He stepped down earlier this year to be closer to his family in Broward County.

“I spent a tremendous amount of time away from them. My family quarantined without me in the beginning of the pandemic without me for months,” Moskowitz said after submitting his resignation to the governor. Moskowitz takes over the District 8 seat, previously held by Sharief.

Torey Alston, a 37-year-old Republican, is also from Broward County and attended Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach. He received his MBA from Florida A&M University (FAMU).

Alston served as Broward County's chief of staff from 2010 to 2013 and has been chief of staff for the Florida Department of Transportation since 2019. He will take over the District 9 seat, which was held by Holness.

"We're very excited that both Toey Alston and Jared Moskowitz will be able to serve the communities here," DeSantis said after making the announcement. "They're both from here. They live and breathe Broward County and they both have demonstrated records of service, both to the local community and to the state of Florida."

Sharief and Holness had submitted written resignations earlier this year to run in the Congressional race for Florida's District 20. Holness narrowly lost the seat to Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick.