BY BUDDY NEVINS
A man named Geller could be headed to Tallahassee from Southeast Broward.
No, not Steve Geller.
This time it’s Joe Geller.
Joe’s brother Steve represented much of Southeast Broward in Tallahassee for two decades. The Hallandale Beach Democrat was in the House 1988 to 1998 and the Senate from 1998 to 2008.
Now Joe wants his chance.
Joe told Browardbeat.com that he is “leaning very strongly” towards running for Florida House District 100 next year.
The seat is now occupied by state Rep. Joe Gibbons, D-Hallandale Beach, who is termed limited out. Gibbons is running for county commission.
Joe has a lot going for him, including a strong resume, a deep Rolodex, an ability to raise money and reams of political knowhow.
Mayor of North Bay Village in Miami-Dade from 2004-2008, Joe was also the chair of the Miami Democratic Party from 1989-2000.
Currently he is general counsel with three Miami-Dade communities – El Portal, Miami Lakes and Opa-Locka
Any knowledge and contacts he gained from these jobs should help if Joe decides to run. That’s because roughly 60 percent of the House district runs along the beach in Miami-Dade, while the rest encompasses everything east of Federal Highway in South Broward.
His leadership of the Democratic Party should help in a primary, along with his work as a lawyer for the Al Gore and Barack Obama campaigns.
He is currently with the statewide firm of Greenspoon Marder, which absorbed the once-mighty Ruden McClosky. That should help him with money from the firm’s numerous well-heeled clients and lawyers.
And don’t count out the help his brother Steve can provide in Southeast Broward.
Joe said he has already talked to his wife and daughter about running.
“My wife is fine with it,” he said. “To the extent that a six-year-old girl has an opinion about such things, she is okay with it, too.”
Why would a 58-year-old successful lawyer with a younger wife and child want to go to leave home for Tallahassee? Why would become a freshman Democrat in a Republican-dominated House?
“I believe I can be successful because I am a consensus builder,” Joe said.
Joe will make a final decision in early April whether to run.
My bet? He runs.
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