Friday, April 25, 2008

Lionel Tate's attorney running for Fort L commish

Jim Lewis, an attorney who lives in Fort Lauderdale's Harbour Inlet neighborhood, filed his paperwork to run for City Commission District IV, the south part of the city. Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson represents that district right now, but she is in her third term and can't run for the seat. She is running for mayor.

(Mayor Jim Naugle is also term limited; we're not sure what he's doing next. Will someone please ask him to start taking my calls again?!)

Lewis wants "a cleaner, greener, and leaner Fort Lauderdale,'' and is vowing to take no campaign contributions from developers or lobbyists.

Lewis represented Lionel Tate in his murder trial. Tate was tried as an adult for the murder of a 6-year-old playmate. He was the youngest American sentenced to life in prison. Later he was set free, but is back in prison for his involvement in the 2005 robbery of a pizza delivery man.

"Can I please be known for something else?,'' Lewis asked when the subject of Tate was brought up.

Lewis has run unsuccessfully for judge and state Legislature. He also ran for mayor against Naugle in 1994, and lost.

Keep reading to find out more about his candidacy. I'm posting the press release he sent us.

Press release from Lewis campaign:

Fort Lauderdale attorney, Jim Lewis, age 50, has filed to run for the Fort Lauderdale City Commission, District 4. The seat is being vacated by Cindi Hutchinson and the election is set for February, 2009.

Jim is a 20 year resident of Fort Lauderdale and a 10 year resident of the Harbour Inlet neighborhood. He has a B.A. Degree in public administration from the University of Central Florida (1978) and a law degree from Stetson University (1980).
Jim’s work experience includes being a local prosecutor, a special prosecutor for former Governor Bob Graham and as an Assistant Statewide Prosecutor for the Florida Attorney’s General Office. Jim has also been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Nova Southeastern University since 1990.

Jim Lewis stated “I’m running for the city commission because I want a cleaner, greener, and leaner Fort Lauderdale, I’m going to spread my message of controlled growth, cleaner waterways and fiscal responsibility. In the spirit of being environmentally responsible I’ve bought myself a scooter, and I plan on scootering through the neighborhoods of District 4 to run a grass roots campaign. I am pledging not to spend over $10,000.00 on this campaign and I will not accept any campaign contributions from developers or lobbyists”.

“I’m also committed to resolving the ugly labor dispute between the city and its police. I want our police to be well staffed, equipped, trained and paid but I do not approve of the current tactics of the Fraternal Order of Police, (negative billboards and threatening work slowdowns).”

“I want former Fort Lauderdale residents who have left for the Western suburbs of Broward County to come back and live and invest in Fort Lauderdale. We don’t need more, we need better. Let’s tear up a few unused city parking lots and turn them into nature friendly playgrounds. Let’s do something about our beaches having to be closed because of bacteria and waterways that continue to be polluted.”
“We don’t need more high density developments, we need neighborhood improvement supported by better schools, green space, water-saving landscapes, and recreational opportunities”.

“These lean economic times also dictate that we cut government waste. City departments need to be streamlined to offer more efficient government services.”

Jim Lewis is divorced with 4 children and a South Side Little League baseball coach.
The campaign office is located at:

200 Southeast 6th Street, Suite 102, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
Telephone 954.523-4081
Cell phone 954.907.2788


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