Lauren Book and Barbara Sharief locked in an “ugly” primary contest

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The most-watched Senate primary race is in southwest Broward County, pitting the Senate Democratic leader against a local politician who has served the area for 13 years.

Sen. Laurent Bookwho is fundraising records broken for boosting other Democratsfaces first-ever voting challenge in former Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharif in Senate District 35.

A redistricting oddity sparked the contest, as Book moved here to avoid a primary with Sen. Rosalind Osgoodwho had just won election to Senate District 32 in a special election in March.

The campaign, which pits one of the Legislature’s best-known pols against a city and county veteran, has sparked numerous negative TV ads and direct mail, with one dragging Sharief take legal action against Book.

Both candidates support abortion rights, strengthen gun control and do more to make insurance and housing more affordable.

There are no Republicans running in this race, so the primary will determine who becomes the senator representing the new district which includes Weston, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Southwest Ranches, Cooper City and parts of Davie and Hollywood. And voters of any political party in the district have the right to vote.

The campaign has involved accusations and counter-accusations between the two sides, with each saying the other is lying. The Sentinel of the Sun gave its endorsement to Bookbut did so “with little enthusiasm” because of the attacks that flew between the two campaigns.

Sharief portrayed Book as a privileged carpet-wrapper unfamiliar with the struggles of the voters she would represent in an ad that highlights Book’s $1million marriage and the salary she earns from her nonprofit organization. non-profit. Lauren’s childrenwhich receives state funding.

Book and his supporters have put Sharief’s case on the County Commission under fire, as a vote that gave incentives for a weapons manufacturer open at Pompano Beach. His health care company’s fine for Medicaid overbilling was presented, with the claim that Sharief “narrowly avoided jail time”. This announcement, which went through a two-year committee based in Fort Lauderdale Win Floridachaired by Jason B Blankstimulated Sharief’s lawsuit against Book and the committee.

“We’ve come to a very ugly place in this race,” the Sentinel of the Sun Reported Grateful Book.

Sharief says she knows the needs of her district which Book only recently came to. Sharief said she would use the office to serve her constituents.

‘This is an opportunity for minority access,’ Sharief said during a debate with Book on ‘This Week in South Florida’ with a reporter. Michael Putney. “I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 21 years and served it for 13 years.”

Besides the charges against Sharief, Book’s campaign has also focused on his accomplishments during his six years of legislative service. This service has earned him a wide range of people and organizations who endorse him for re-election. She successfully advocated for a diaper tax holiday and expanded postpartum Medicaid coverage, among other successes, despite the numerical advantage Republican lawmakers have over Democrats.

When she’s not attacking Book, Sharief focuses on how she went from a 14-year-old fatherless girl who lost her parent to gun violence to becoming the first Muslim woman to be mayor of the county in addition to a successful entrepreneur and leader of a healthcare company that employs 350 workers.

Politicians run very different campaigns.

Since January, nearly $1.8 million has been donated to Book’s political committees, Leadership for Florida and Broward Branch and about $2.5 million came out of those accounts.

Several six-figure checks of those expenses went to the Florida Democratic Legislative Committee which backs other Democrats. But voter awareness about Book’s campaign is flying fast and furiously.

Book’s personal account and committees showed the campaign spent $209,517 with Edge Communications in Miami on consulting, outreach and communications between July 30 and August 5.

During the same period, Sharief, who largely self-funded his campaign, spent $30,149. Of this amount, $29,058 went to Win On the Ground Consulting in Coral Springs for mailings.

Sharief, founder and CEO of healthcare company South Florida Pediatric Homecare Inc., gave her campaign a $500,000 loan and, as of August 5, is showing $45,395 in outside donations to her personal account and her political committee, Real empowerment for the people.

During her television appearance last Sunday, Book made it clear that this was not a race she wanted. “The Republicans took me out of … District 32 by four blocks because I am the leader of the Democrats,” she said. “That’s what happens when you’re in the lead.”

Sharief did not apologize: “I have the right to show up at the seat where I represented and that’s why I show up.”


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