Josh Rydell’s Fundraising Overcomes State Atty. Opponents In Just 2 Months!


If dollars were votes, Josh Rydell would be the next Broward State Attorney.

But the election is a year away and dollars don’t necessarily translate into votes. 

Just ask Eric Schwartzreich, the flamboyant downtown Fort Lauderdale attorney whose firm gave $1,000 to Rydell’s campaign.  Schwartzreich’s wife Mila lost two races more than a decade ago for judge despite throwing in hundreds of thousands.

But all the money Rydell has collected through September 30th can’t hurt. 

The Coconut Creek politician/defense attorney has pulled in $92,883 in donations in just two months of campaigning to replace retiring State Attorney Mike Satz. 

Rydell needs the dollars.

His gold-plated political consultant Eric Johnson (Johnson’s victories on his website include state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, State Sens. Gary Farmer and Lauren Book and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis. No mention of the defeats.) gets $1,500-per-month not counting any extras funneled through other channels not immediately apparent.

“The endorsements and strong fundraising numbers are indications that the crowded field of eight hopefuls vying to replace outgoing State Attorney Mike Satz may be narrowing as others in the race fail to keep pace,” gushed Rydell’s recent news release.

Maybe. Maybe not. 

Here are the latest fund raising totals other than Rydell through September 30: 

  • Sheila Alu, (No Party Affiliation), $4,000. Half was from Fort Lauderdale Attorney Bradford Cohen and his law firm. Schwarzreich’s firm also gave $500 along with $250 from the politically plugged-in attorney Harold Talenfeld’s personal injury firm in Plantation.
  • David Cannady, Democrat, $1,795.
  • Joseph Kimok, Democrat, $16,449. He calls himself a “progressive for State Attorney” and his campaign literature sounds to some like he is running for Public Defender rather that chief prosecutor:  “Together, we can end cash bail and the war on drugs. We can end the school to prison pipeline. We can empty our jails of folks who pose no threat to us, and together, we can end the death penalty.”
  • Jim Lewis, Democrat, raised $5,700 and loaned his campaign $6,000.
  • Sarahnell Murphy, Democrat, raised $73,136 and loaned her campaign $50,000.  A top prosecutor for decades with Satz, she is his choice to replace him.
  • Harold Pryor Jr., Democrat, $69,072. A corporate attorney, he is active in the African American legal community, the source of many of his contributions. His total illustrates the growing strength of Broward’s black community. Also interesting is the $250 donation from Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, a would-be political kingmaker. 
  • Teresa Elizabeth Williams, Democrat, raised $16,985 and loaned her campaign $50,000.  She almost beat Satz three years ago. 

Rydell is clearly ahead in fund raising.

Murphy and Pryor are close behind. 

Rydell also has much going for him besides the money.

He knows criminal law, having practiced criminal defense for much of his 13 years as a lawyer. He graduated from Nova Southeastern Law School.

He is 38 with a photogenic family tailor-made for campaign ads:

Rydell, his wife Jamie and daughters three and seven dressed for Halloween.

Perhaps most vital to the campaign are contacts he has made as a Coconut Creek commissioner since 2015. His iPhone is filled with the name of folks from across Florida.

Business types. Community activists. Progressives and conservatives. Union members. Soccer Moms and seniors. Government wonks and the courthouse crowd.

They can help him raise money and talk up his candidacy.

Just one of many examples:

On September 26, multi-millionaire entrepreneur Ron Bergeron, his lawyers and associates gave thousands to the Rydell campaign.

As a commissioner, Rydell has fought against Waste Management, whose landfill towering over Coconut Creek is nicknamed Mount Trashmore.

Bergeron, who apparently appreciates Rydell’s stand against Waste Management, is a decade-long opponent of the firm’s Broward trash monopoly. The business tycoon is currently embroiled in a wide-ranging law suit against the firm concerning his former recycling business.

The amazing thing about Rydell’s fund raising is that his formal campaign kickoff hasn’t happened yet. It’s tomorrow at Ciao, 4443 Lyons Road, in Coconut Creek. The host committee is packed with pols:

Will all this early money translate into a Rydell win?

Not necessarily.

Consultants say that a State Attorney candidate needs $500,000 to run an adequately financed race. That’s for TV, print ads, grass roots organizing and, of course, their fee.

So Rydell, who has less than $100,000 to date, can plan on many more hours dialing for dollars.

The money raised to date is chicken feed.

12 Responses to “Josh Rydell’s Fundraising Overcomes State Atty. Opponents In Just 2 Months!”

  1. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    I like the pic of him with his family.Pics like this will get him elected.I say time and time again show the residents (voters) that u r one of them.U have a family ,kids etc.Even better all he needs is the dog.

    As far as Eric Johnson who’s clients read like a whos- who I would coach his other client Mayor Trantalis that the residents that I speak to r not happy with his performance.Biggest issue is the million dollars plus to give free homeless( I told u) and his overzealous support for the AHF dev over in Rio Vista.

    Lastly,all this money they all dish out is extradnoiry.Will it all pay off?($).Will see…

  2. Jean Churcherilla says:

    What does Rydell know about prosecuting? Has he ever run a 500 person company? Has he ever managed a millions + budget? Will he take a pass on prosecuting friends and family of the democratic establishment that is supporting him? Will he breakdown cases for all his defense attorney buddies? I personally don’t want a defense attorney for State Attorney.

  3. Long Black Robe (ret.) says:

    Although I’ve never met him, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Rydell.

    Same with Murphy, although we have met. She’s a real pro and knows prosecuting.

  4. Kirkwood F. says:

    Identity politics will win out.The black man will win when the white men and women divide the vote. $500k is a drop in the bucket considering there are 1 million Democrats.

  5. anon says:

    Watch out for Sarahnell Murphy because her husband is a dedicated Trump fan. His BS was all over Facebook before she was running. We don’t need a Trump fan sleeping next to the next State Attorney.

  6. Ruth List says:

    The next state attorney will be Teresa Williams. If I had to I would take Josh Rydell, but we need a woman and a real woman at that to solve this counties problems. Williams almost beat Satz in 2016. She had no money, Rydell may come in second but real woman who want to break glass ceilings are with Teresa.

  7. The Truth says:

    That Josh Rydell is supported by those people on his ad worries me because these are the very same who supported Satz. He seldom investigated corruption because of their support.

    We need a fresh face, not another puppet of the power structure only trying to insure they won’t be prosecuted.

  8. Las Olas Lawyer says:

    Just what kind of a champion attorney is Rydell? I never heard of him.

  9. More Nonsense says:

    @ 5- I don’t care if one of the candidates sleeps with a Trump supporter. @6 – To support another candidate based on the fact that she is a “real woman” is as ridiculous as it is sexist. @4 – Counting on identity politics is a bad way to handicap a race. Hopefully you are wrong. How about something new. How about trying to replace Mike Satz with someone based on their QUALIFICATIONS. Wow, what a revolutionary concept. As to the idea that candidates should be disqualified because they have support by prominent politicians is similarly absurd. Do people who hold public office lose their right to support candidates of their choice ? Did the fact that Satz was politically connected stop him from pursuing the politicians in Broward for corruption ? I would say no to both of these queries. Moreover, to my last point, Satz pursued some pretty thin cases (which he lost miserably).

  10. FTL Voter says:

    First, it doesn’t take $500,000 to be viable in a Broward primary. I just went on the SOE website and looked up some past candidates. Brenda Forman raised and spent a total of $58,000 in her winning 2016 run (beating opponents who spent $250k and $110k). Brenda Snipes raised $64,000 in her 2016 run. Scott Israel won a primary and a general in 2012 spending under $200,000.

    Second, there are not a million voters in the primary. In the August primary (again, thanks SOE website), there were 172,000 Democrats who voted in the 2018 primary, and 122,000 Democrats who voted in the 2016 primary. The pool of those who bother to vote in a summer primary in Broward is pretty small.


    Good points.

    Actually, Israel spent a lot more if you include PACs that supported him. Brenda Forman had the Forman name and ethnic appeal to a chunk of Broward voters.

    Consultants say next year might be different because there are so many countywide Constitutional offices up for grabs in Broward. They say that a candidate needs a great deal of money to differentiate themselves from the pack. Rydell is also in a race where other candidates will be well-funded.

  11. No to Murphy says:

    If you want Judy Stern courting influence and directing investigations on her enemies and rival lobbyists vote Murphy.In the name of Joe Eggletion and Mayor Joy Cooper, we dont need Judy Stern advising the next State Attorney.

  12. Kish'm Tuchas says:

    anyone but another MOT in order to restore some honesty & integrity to the sao & the tribe….if i insulted any of my landsmans remember the truth is a defense. if you still don’t believe that…well then…. kish’mech en tuchas