Senate Race Expected To Cost $$$ Millions Moves To Beach





An expected multi-million state Senate race will move roughly 10 miles east after a Tallahassee judge approved new district lines over the Holidays.

Veteran west Broward politician Jim Waldman, a former state House member from Coconut Creek, immediately switched where he will run for state Senate. He has already begun campaigning for an open Senate seat miles to the east of his current home, attending at least one Democratic club meeting in the redrawn district.

HousePhoto--Jim Waldman

Jim Waldman


“My wife is very happy,” Waldman said. “She always wanted to live on the beach.”

Waldman and Angela Waldman have been looking at homes near the beach for weeks. He is the former mayor of Coconut Creek and has lived in that community for decades.

Waldman said he expects personal injury attorney Gary Farmer, who was the second Democrat running for an open Senate seat in Northwest Broward, to follow him into the new beachfront district shortly.

Waldman and Farmer will fight over the new Fort Lauderdale-based District 34, which runs from Deerfield Beach to Hallandale Beach mostly east of Interstate 95.

The candidates and political observers predicted last year that the campaigns and political action committees will spend several million dollars to win the seat.

Registered Democrats dominate the district. District voters chose Barack Obama over Mitt Romney 59-40 percent in 2012, according to political analyst Matthew Isbell.

Waldman had been running for a heavily Democratic open seat in west Broward since November 2012. Farmer jumped in that west Broward race last October.

But that district doesn’t exist anymore. The open seat was refashioned by the judge’s ruling into District 32 to now include the home of Senate candidate Lauren Book. 


Ron Book and Lauren Book

Lauren Book, to the right, with her father, Ron Book. 


Book is the child abuse awareness advocate who has already raised more than $1 million. Much of the money is tied to her father, veteran lobbyist Ron Book.

Since Ron Book is a savvy political strategist with a pocket full of IOUs gathered during decades in Tallahassee, political observers assume that Lauren Book’s campaign could raise millions more if necessary.

Farmer and Waldman are both millionaire lawyers with exceptionally deep pockets and the ability to raise money. Both have roughly $300,000 in their campaigns through the end of November.

But they don’t have the deep pockets of Lauren Book.

So Waldman jumped out of her way.

“I told Lauren I would never run against her…Farmer told me he is switching districts, too,” Waldman said.

Farmer could not be reached for comment.

A third Democrat considering running for the Senate seat is state Rep. Evan Jenne, D-Hollywood. Jenne is leaving for the 2016 legislative session within days.

“I’m completely focused on the session,” Jenne said. “To not do that is a misuse of the public trust.”

The clock, however, may be working against Jenne.  The legislative session’s is scheduled to last two months and House rules forbid him from raising money while the Legislature is meeting. By the end of the session Jenne may be too behind in fund raising to realistically run.

Jenne served with Waldman in the House and has already endorsed his Senate campaign.

“I told him I would cancel his endorsement,” Waldman joked, “but only if he ran against me.”


The new Senate map for Broward can be seen below. Since the map was drawn, District 40 became District 34 and District 29 became District 32.  Both are even numbers, so those elected in 2016 will serve two years:

8 Responses to “Senate Race Expected To Cost $$$ Millions Moves To Beach”

  1. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Once again there is a “Ft Lauderdale” political subdivision that will be fought over by non-Ft Lauderdale candidates! I am flabbergasted by the total lack of Ft Lauderdale “winners” in County and State office races. I can’t believe Ft Lauderdale as the COUNTY SEAT doesn’t have a Ft Lauderdale Commissioner! Not in New Jersey, New York, or Miami Beach/Miami-Dade County politics over 70 years have I seen a COUNTY SEAT with NO POLITICAL INFLUENCE! What is in the water in the City of Ft Lauderdale that there are NO FT LAUDERDALE ELECTED OFFICIALS HIGHER THAN THE MAYOR OF FT LAUDERDALE?
    And, yes, the Ft Lauderdale Democrats having Dale Holeness and Tim Ryan as their “honorees” at their major event is pitiful at best.

  2. John Henry says:

    So our choices are either scam artists, ambulance chasers, or career politicians?

    Bottom of the barrel to say the least.

  3. Ann Zucker says:

    So I am guessing that the people in Weston will not be given a choice of candidates, but rather will be handed the one with the deepest pockets. Does not ay much for democracy. I hope that will not keep some voters away from the polls.

  4. As sweet as Zucker says:

    You know, Ann Zucker, nothing is stopping you from running for State Senate, except the voters.

  5. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    This is a prime example of the voter (except me) have a variety of choices to make. Mak e them sweat. Express your desires, concerns, and see who will produce for you in your neighborhood(all politics is local). This should be an interesting race. Lauren Book get out there, eat your Wheaties, get your husband out there, let your father help you, and win….

  6. Carol Smith says:

    Please check out SunSentinel article today on FL Senate redistricting. I think author is looking at the wrong map.


    The Sun-Sentinel story mirrors’s post of two days ago. We are both looking at the right map.

  7. in the KNOW says:

    Jim Waldman is a knowledgeable legislator who has been a very good representative of the northern part of Broward County for years.
    He is honest, not beholden to any special interests and cares deeply about this community.
    Don’t know much about Farmer, but my vote is with the known quantity- Waldman!!

  8. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Why do we Democrats keep nominating lawyer lobbyists who achieve nothing in Tallahassee except turning the state MORE REPUBLICAN every election because the Gellers Waldmans Gwen Margolis Maria Sacks types do NOTHING for the average citizen BUT EVERYTHING for lobbyists from naming streets n giving out Billionaire Dollar wasteful contracts to them! I mean Ron Bergeron n Wayne Huysinza’s companies have gotten how much Tax Payer giveaways n bloated contracts and the Democrats dont say boo! Why do we have a tax payer 342 Million Dollar ICE Hockey team in SOUTH Florida?