Not content with playing a major role in county commission races, Dale Holness has exteneded his reach into Broward judicial races. Campaign finance reports, candidate websites and social media posts show Holness is playing a role in the campaign of attorney Frantz Jahra McLawrence. He is running against Judge Lynn Rosenthal in the August 26h primary for circuit court. Once again, it appears Holness has enlisted the help of his daughter Damara Holness in his political hijinks.
Campaign records filed with the Broward Supervisor of Elections office show contributions from Holness and his daughter to Frantz Jahra McLawrence. On July 1, 2014 McLawrence received a $200 contribution from Dale Holness and a $150 contribution from Damara Holness. McLawrence’s official campaign treasurer’s report lists Damara Holness’ address as 4019 N.W. 37th Avenue in Lauderdale Lakes.
This Lauderdale Lakes address is the home of Broward County Commission District 2 write-in candidate Tyron Francois. The presence of Francois in the District 2 race closed the primary to all non-Democrat voters. On June 23, RED BROWARD reported Francois did not live in District 2. Florida election law requires write-in candidates to live in the district as of qualifying. The qualification date was June 20, 2014.
On June 26th a lawsuit was filed seeking the removal of Francois from the ballot and the opening of the primary to all Broward voters in District 2. At a July 11th emergency hearing, Tyron Francois admitted he did not live in District 2. Under tough examination by Broward superlawyer William Scherer, Francois admitted to a having a relatinship with Damara Holness. Photgraphs were produced showing Franocis and Holness complete with heart emoticons.
Judge Sandra Perlman removed Francois from the ballot.
Many political insiders believed Dale Holness was behind the Francois candidacy. Holness had endorsed Democrat Carmen Jones, but another candidate suspects ore Holness hijinks. Fellow District 2 candidate Terry Williams Edden told the Sun-Sentinel she believes Holness wanted to split the vote in order to help another candidate, Lisa Aronson. Williams Edden suspects Aronson will name Jones as her aide if she wins the commission seat.
This latest brazen political ploy by Holness is shocking even by Broward standards. Even though a lawsuit had been filed against Francois just days before, Holness allows his daughter to give money to McLawrence under the same address used by Francois. Did Holness think nobody would ever find out?
McLawrence has been on Holness’ team for a number of years. In 2012, BrowardBeat published a photgraph of a Dale Holness campaign van featuring McLawrence and other politicians. The Holness advertisement listed the endorsement of “future judge” Frantz Jahra McLawrence.