Another Former State Senator Eying Commission Race





Another former state Senator is eying a Broward County Commission seat.

Steve Geller, D- Cooper City, told he is actively rounding up support for a commission race.   Earlier in the week, former state Senator Nan Rich, D-Weston, announced plans to run for commission in a different West Broward commission district.

“I am very seriously exploring the option,” Geller told

A number of insiders who regularly give contributions to commission campaigns have already pledged to raise money for Geller, say numerous sources.

“Should I decide to run,” Geller said he would officially launch his campaign in March or April and begin accepting the promised donations.


steven-gellerSteve Geller


Geller would run for District 5, while Rich is running for District 1.

School Board member Robin Bartleman has also been looking at District 5, but political observers say it is unlikely she would run against Geller. That could leave Geller with token opposition, if any.

Geller was a key Broward early supporter of Charlie Crist in the 2014 governor’s race. He was often seen at Crist’s side when the candidate was campaigning here.

Due to his loyalty, there is no doubt Geller would have been offered a key job in a Crist administration.  Or Geller could have developed a very lucrative Tallahassee lobbying practice if Crist had won.

When Crist lost, Geller apparently started considering other options, including his long held desire to be on the county commission.

In 2010, Geller lost a bitter race for county commission against Commissioner Sue Gunzburger.

A veteran Broward political figure, Geller was a Florida House member from 1988 to 1999 representing South Broward. He moved up to the Senate from 1999-2008. Both the House and Senate districts contained portions of County Commission District 5.

Because he is a land use lawyer in the Fort Lauderdale office of Greenspoon Marder, Geller has already explored how he would comply with the county’s ethics law if elected. County ethics laws prohibit commissions from lobbying in Broward.

One problem is that Greenspoon Marder has other lawyers who lobby the county commission. For instance, Greenspoon’s Dennis Mele is one of Broward’s most active land use lawyers and currently has over 20 lobbying clients registered with the County Commission.

Geller said he would resign his partnership with the firm so that he didn’t share in any profits generated by Mele or any of the other Greenspoon Marder lobbyists. He would remain of counsel to the firm, which means that he would keep his office and his relationship with the firm, but not be an employee or partner.

District 5, which Geller has his eyes upon, is currently represented by Commissioner Lois Wexler. She is term limited in 2016. This seat contains Southwest Ranches and Cooper City, plus a major portion of Davie, about one-fourth of Weston and small swaths of Sunrise, Pembroke Pines and Plantation.

Rich is running for District 1 now held by Commissioner Marty Kiar. He is quitting next year to run for Property Appraiser. The district consists of portions of Sunrise, Plantation, about three-fourths of Weston and slivers of Lauderhill, Tamarac and Davie.

Both districts are heavily Democratic.


District 5--county commissionCounty Commission District 5 (click to enlarge)

13 Responses to “Another Former State Senator Eying Commission Race”

  1. Talks like a politician says:

    Isn’t there any new candidate who can qualify to run for the Commission seats? Someone who can do a great job at representing their constituents? It is depressing to see the same old retreads bumping from one political seat to another mostly for their own egos. Maybe the lack of people running for offices has something to do with the culture of South Florida. There is very little loyalty here to local sports teams because so many residents are still faithful to the teams in the states they moved from. There is no real buy in to South Florida except for the retread politicians and the lobbyi$t$.

  2. S O E Insider says:

    Adele Berger and Sophie Bock are contemplating throwing their beret into the Broward County Commission race.


    Very funny.

    These are two Democratic activists from Century Village of Pembroke Pines. Bock is president of the Century Village of Pembroke Pines Democratic Club. Berger also is an political activist in the condo community.

  3. walmot says:

    Geller is a good choice. He knows the communities in the District and the issues. He is a grass roots guy. Nan Rich a hoity-toity Weston matron out for herself. Why is this old lady running? Because she can’t imagine Broward County can get along without her. Has anybody thought that she needs the money and the enormous pension bump she will get from being on the commission?

  4. Cracker Barrell says:

    On what planet is Steve Geller grass roots? I’m being serious. What the hell?

    Also, Nan has money. She doesn’t need money. She might need the win for ego purposes, but she doesn’t need the money. (And how long would her pension last her anyways? 6 weeks?)


    Nan Rich earns less than $20,000 a year from Social Security and various investments, according to her financial disclosure in the governor’s race. She has a net worth of $1.3 million.

    The financial disclosure doesn’t include her husband, but still this income is poverty level in Broward County.

  5. Broward Lawyer says:

    Geller should run for the Sobel senate seat he used to represent. This requires the courage to stand up to Ron Book’s daughter which is another powerplay that Broward voters will not like. Everybody wants Geller back in the Senate.

    As a lobbyist at Greenspoon Marder he has law partners that do business before the county. He places his livelihood and theirs plus the good name of his firm at risk. No lobbyist should ever be a county commissioner. Period. Why would anybody vote for a guy just so he can use the power of that office to make more money?

    The entire thing is preposterous.

  6. Sober As a Judge says:

    @4 The exact same thing could be said of Geller or any former state representative. That’s never stopped people from voting who they think will do the best job on county commissions in Broward or anywhere else in Florida.

  7. If you want real change says:

    Suggestion Christine Butler or Cynthia Bush you or the other wanna be power players who cant get around the old timers at County Hall… get the signatures to put on the ballot the elimination of the entire Broward County Commission or reduce it in size.

    When the County actually controlled unincorporated areas i.e. land, there was a need for 9 members or an actual Commission. What are they today, merely a Airport/Seaport, Library Parks and Transportation Authority.

    Half the time it appears they find things to banter about because they have nothing substantive to do. Debating a ban on chocolate milk at day care facilities?

    Every municipality and elected official therein would support a measure to shrink or eliminate the County Commission. The savings in litigation alone would be worth it.

    What are we losing? A bunch of former Senators and House members who want to land there to get 100k a year part time, a big bump in their state pension and health benefits. To work 30 days a year? Do you think Nan Rich or Geller want to pay for their own health coverage, you know it probably isn’t cheap in the private sector.

    Go to a Publix in Coral Springs, ask random people in they know Ritter, Campbell and/or Daly, I bet the latter two get far more name id. Got to any pleace in the Couny and ask people if they know their county or city officials, if they know anything, it will be city officials. No one knows who their County Commissioner is, let alone what they really do.

    Look at the school board bond and CSC, people are willing to vote yes ballot issues. The fiscal savings alone, would entice voters to support this.

    Let the cities appoint members to serve on a Transportation Authority (i.e. Port Authority in NY/NJ)encompassing the airport/seaport and transportation. Create another Authority to supervise the parks and library.


    When a large part of the county was unincorporated and the commission had to service it, there was only five and then seven commissioners. They also had fewer aides. Hmmmm.

  8. Not Again!! says:

    Steve Geller – grassroots guy??? He is the most contemptible, arrogant, out-for-himself person in Broward County politics! Steve Geller is the one who cannot stand to be out of elected office! He is the filthiest campaigner around. District 5 has been represented by great commissioners… Lois Wexler… Lori Parrish. Surely we can do better than Steve Geller now!!!

  9. Talks like a politician says:

    OMG, a voice of common sense. The Broward County Commission and its nine members became obsolete years ago when almost every acre of land in Broward was annexed into cities. Yet, it continues to exist for the benefit of retread politicians and lobbyists, definitely not for the residents of the county.
    I agree that an Authority for the Airport/Seaport, Libraries and Parks, and Transportation is needed instead of the County Commission. I would add Water Management as a need.
    There would be no need for 9 members. Think of the savings for the taxpayers of Broward if these 9 dinosaurs could be retired.

  10. Alice McGill says:

    Why is Geller asking to lease space in the Dania Beach Administration building? Maybe he wants to move into Walter Duke’s seat when his term ends in 2016?


    You’ve got the wrong Geller. State Rep. Joe Geller, who is Steve Geller’s brother, is asking to lease space in the Dania Beach administration building for his legislative office.

  11. Alice McGill says:

    Thanks for the clarification.

  12. Jim Miller says:

    Too funny. The public voted to put 2 more members on the board in 2000 from 7 to 9. The PUBLIC did that. The public also voted to disband the port authority. The PUBLIC did that. Good luck trying to go back-minorities would go insane.

  13. Needle in a haystack says:

    Go to sharief or holness district and ask residents if they know either by name or what a county commissioner actually does for their communities, Outside of those making money from either on Election Day or otherwise the answer would be no. Today there is less love for politicians than ever and certainly for those making 100k a year with 3 aides per commissioner making over 50k. With support from the cities the BCC would be history like the Port Commission.

    All the smart money said ballot referendums wouldn’t pass for CSC or the School Board and they did. Go around and ask people if they would vote to put 9 politicans working part time for 100k and their over priced staffers on the street to save millions a year, the voters would climb over each other to vote yes.

    Everyone better hope Dan Lewis doesn’t take to this idea, he could organize and win that campaign in a second.