Florida sheriff race centers on school killing, old shooting

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The race for sheriff in one of Florida’s most populous counties centers on a high school massacre and a shooting decades earlier.

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony is being challenged in Tuesday’s Democratic primary by his predecessor, Scott Israel.

Tony replaced Israel in 2019 after Gov. Ron DeSantis fired Israel over his handling of the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead.

Tony’s campaign has been jarred by his failure to disclose that he fatally shot an 18-year-old in 1993 when he was 14 in Philadelphia. A judge concluded Tony acted in self-defense, but Tony never revealed the shooting to his previous police employer, the governor or the investigators who vetted him.

Tony and Israel are the top contenders in Tuesday’s primary, which also has four lesser-known, lesser-financed candidates. The winner will be a strong favorite in the general election because Democrats hold a two-to-one advantage over Republicans in Broward County.

Israel won election twice before he was removed by DeSantis after the Parkland school shooting. Tony, the county’s first Black sheriff, is a former sergeant in the suburban Coral Springs Police Department. Tony also ran a consulting company that trained officers to confront active shooters.

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