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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

New Senate districts in Broward County force two candidates to move



In Broward County, where three sitting senators face term limits and cannot seek re-election, new state Senate district maps are causing two Democratic candidates to move.

Gary Farmer, a trial lawyer and former president of the Florida Justice Association, confirmed Thursday he plans to move his family to run for Senate in an East Broward County seat. So does Jim Waldman, a former Democratic member of the Florida House.

Both Democrats currently lives in a small part of the county that will be represented by a Senate district mostly based in Palm Beach County after last week's ruling by Circuit Judge George Reynolds. But they plan to move to run in District 34, which runs along Broward County's east cost from Deerfield Beach to Hollywood.

That district is largely represented in the Senate now by Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood. It's likely the winner of the Democratic primary will be the next senator from the district, which Barack Obama won in 2012 with 59.8 percent of the vote. Sobel and two other Broward County senators -- Sens. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, and Jeremy Ring, D-Parkland -- face term limits.

Sobel's likely successor had been Lauren Book, who created non-profit group Lauren's Kids, which fights sexual abuse against children, and is the daughter of powerful lobbyist Ron Book. But Book's Plantation home is in District 32 in the western part of Broward County.

Campaign spokesman Steve Vancore confirmed that Book, who has one of the biggest campaign warchests in Florida, plans to run in District 32, much of which is Ring's territory.

In Smith's Fort Lauderdale-based seat, Rep. Gwyn Clarke-Reed, D-Fort Lauderdale, and former Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, are running in the primary.

[Last modified: Thursday, January 7, 2016 5:17pm]


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