Delray Beach attorney Michael D. Weinstein — the son of a former Senate Majority Leader — says he is jumping into the open House District 81 contest as a Democrat.
The decision comes after Tuesday’s news that Rep. Tina Polsky would leave HD 81 after just one term to launch a bid in Senate District 29. Sen. Kevin Rader ended his reelection effort in SD 29 earlier Tuesday.
The moves by Rader and Polsky shifted a pair of South Florida seats into the “open” category. Weinstein now says he’ll take a shot at the House seat based in Palm Beach County.
“There is too much at stake in this election for me to sit on the sidelines. I have the background, experience and commitment to provide effective leadership in the State House starting on day one,” Weinstein wrote in a statement confirming his run.
“As the parent of a 9-year-old girl in the Palm Beach County Public School System, I’m committed to ensuring more funding for education and smaller class sizes. As a former prosecutor, I’ve seen firsthand the need for our state to increase its social services. I’ll also work to expand Medicaid and improve access to quality, affordable health care.
“This community is my home and I want to make sure it has the best representation possible in Tallahassee.”
Weinstein attended the University of Florida for undergrad and earned his law degree at Nova Southeastern University. He launched his career with a job at the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, eventually becoming a prosecutor. Weinstein now runs his own criminal defense firm.
As for his political background, Weinstein served as an intern for former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham.
Politics runs in the family as well. Weinstein’s father Peter was a former Florida Senate Majority Leader and later, the Chief Judge of Broward County. Weinstein’s grandfather Moses served as Speaker of the New York State Assembly.
Silmo Moura, a Boca Raton Republican who works as a real estate agent with United Realty Group, filed for the HD 81 race in late November.
The district leans heavily Democratic, however. The Democratic candidate in HD 81 has been unopposed in the general for three straight cycles.
HD 81 covers parts of Palm Beach County near Lake Okeechobee including Pahokee and Belle Glade.