BY BUDDY NEVINS
Jared Moskowitz hasn’t cast his first meaningful vote as a new Democratic member of the Florida House from Parkland. Yet pols already have their eyes on Moskowitz.
No one is eying Moskowitz more than state Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek.
Waldman has long coveted the northwest Broward state Senate seat. It is now held by state Sen. Jeremey Ring, D- Parkland
But does Moskowitz want the seat, too?
On paper, it would be no contest.
Waldman is the former mayor of Coconut Creek and general counsel of Keiser University.
He the ranking Democrat on the all-important Rules Committee. These are the powerful House members who control what gets heard on the floor.
Waldman’s position on Rules makes him essentially the floor manager for the House Democrats.
He also is the ranking Democratic on the Regulatory Affairs Committee. They consider all the rules governing various industries, from gaming to utilities. Because it deals with regulated industries, Regulatory Affairs can be a font of campaign contributions, not a bad perch for someone running for the Senate.
Outside of his legislative work, Waldman is the president of the National Council of Legislators From Gaming States. In a state where gaming is always a major issue, leadership of this group is another kiln for campaign dough.
Many believe that Waldman is the most influential House member of the Broward Legislative Delegation.
“Jim Waldman is without doubt the most important Broward House member,” a long-time Tallahassee operative said. “He got that way because he is good at forging relationships across the aisle.”
Jim Waldman, in the University of Florida tie, negotiating with three Republicans on the House floor, 2008
And Moskowitz? Well, he’s a freshman Democrat and a former Parkland commissioner.
Plus, Moskowitz will be 32 next week — a fresh face in state Democratic politics. (Waldman is 54.)
Moskowitz is general counsel/business development with the hurricane recovery firm Ashbritt that allows him to network through the state. And he has a rich Daddy , the high-rolling lobbyist/lawyer and Democratic insider Mike Moskowitz, who has his own extensive Rolodex.
Jared Moskowitz doesn’t want to end his political career in the House. He wants to move to state Senate or Congress.
Waldman isn’t waiting.
He opened a campaign account just after the November general election for the 2016 election for the post. Yup, 2016. That’s when Ring will be termed out.
Waldman is convinced that he will get a pass from Moskowitz. He believes Moskowitz has his heart set on Congress.
“He has told me he would sign an endorsement card for me,” Waldman said.
But Waldman knows that endorsements made in 2012 can be changed before 2016.
Even at 54, there is nothing wrong with Waldman’s vision: He’ll keep an eye on Moskowitz far into the future.
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