Republican Matt Spritz announced Monday that former state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff endorsed his bid to take over for term-limited Republican state Rep. Bill Hager in House District 89.
“I’m pleased to endorse Matt Spritz in his campaign for the Florida House,” Bogdanoff said in a press release. “Matt’s enthusiasm is contagious and his optimism is refreshing. He understands the unique needs of our local community and I have no doubt he will fight every day for our interests. From protecting our beaches, to addressing our sober home crisis, to making sure our state policies help grow our economy, I am confident Matt will be an effective advocate for our community.”
Bogdanoff served three terms representing Palm Beach and Broward County in the Florida House during the aughts and was elected to the Florida Senate in 2010, where she served one term.
Her endorsement adds to the pile of South Florida Republicans backing Spritz, who is running against Delray Beach accountant Michael Caruso in the GOP primary.
“I’m honored to have the support of Senator Bogdanoff,” Spritz said. “She has an outstanding record of accomplishment and service in our community and in the State Legislature that truly speaks for itself. I’m thrilled to have her on our team, and I look forward to her continued guidance on the issues important to our community.”
Spritz leads in total fundraising with $112,560 raised through the end of 2017 compared to $108,275 for his opponent. That total includes $40,000 in loans, while Caruso’s campaign account includes $75,000 of his own money.
Caruso held a slim lead in cash on hand heading into 2018 due to his low burn rate. He started the year with $107,086 banked compared to $97,403 for Spritz.
Also running for the seat are Democrats Tina Scott Polsky, Ryan Rossi and James Bonfiglio. Bonfiglio leads the Dem field with $18,289 in the bank, though his total includes $25,000 in loans. Rossi is in the No. 2 slot with $3,441 on hand, while Polsky entered the race at the beginning of January and has not yet filed her first campaign finance report.
HD 89 covers coastal Palm Beach County from Singer Island through Boca Raton and is one of the few dots of red within the county. 2016 statistics show the district with about 120,000 registered voters, including 43,000 Republicans, 40,000 Democrats and about 32,500 voters without a party affiliation.
Despite the close margins, Hager went unopposed on Election Day last year. In both the 2012 and 2014 elections the Delray Beach insurance expert beat his Democratic challengers by 5 points.