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Irv Slosberg opens account to run for Jeff Clemens’ seat

Setting up a high-profile Democratic primary, former state Rep. Irv Slosberg opened a campaign account to run for a Palm Beach County Senate seat that became vacant last week with the resignation of Lake Worth Democrat Jeff Clemens.

Slosberg opened his campaign account Thursday, officially joining Lantana Democratic Rep. Lori Berman in the race, though he announced he was dead set on running for the seat before Berman announced her bid.

Her announcement came Tuesday, with a press release saying in part that “now more than ever, women need a strong voice in the Florida Senate.”

Clemens, who defeated Slosberg last year for the District 31 seat, announced his resignation from the Senate last Friday after disclosures about an affair with a lobbyist.

The special election run would be Slosberg’s third attempt at making it into the Florida Senate. His first was in 2006, and similar to his 2016 run, he failed in a tough Democratic Primary against Ted Deutch, who is now a member of Congress.

That run cost him and his donors more than $3 million, and the 2016 bid saw him spend nearly $1.9 million of his own money for about a third of the vote in the primary.

Both Slosberg and Berman have opened placeholder accounts for the 2020 cycle, as Gov. Rick Scott had not officially declared a special election to fill the seat as of Friday.

A few other Democrats indicated they are thinking about jumping into the special election for the coastal Palm Beach County, including Democratic Rep. David Silvers and Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein.

Earlier this week Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher proposed setting the special primary election for Jan. 30, followed by an April 10 general election.

If Scott picks those dates, SD 31 will go the entirety of the 2018 Legislative Session without representation. The annual session is scheduled to run Jan. 9 through March 9.

The winner would serve out the remainder of the term Clemens’ won last year, which runs through Election Day 2020.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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