Joe Abruzzo declines run for SD 29 after Kevin Rader announcement
Joe Abruzzo and Kevin Rader.

Joseph_Abruzzo Kevin Rader
Abruzzo formerly represented House District 81, which overlaps with SD 29.

Former Democratic Sen. Joe Abruzzo says he won’t seek a return to that body after the Senate District 29 race opened up Tuesday.

Sen. Kevin Rader announced Tuesday morning he would give up that seat following only one term. That makes the 2020 contest for the seat an open one.

“I am not running for the Senate seat,” Abruzzo told Florida Politics.

“Sen. Rader’s loyalty to the public trust, experience and energy will be severely missed in government, however, it is thrilling to know he will be back home full time with Amy and his wonderful family.”

Abruzzo represented House District 81 from 2016-2018. That district covers much of the same territory as SD 29.

His successor in HD 81, Rep. Tina Polsky, has announced she will seek the SD 29 seat. Former Rep. Irv Slosberg says he will also enter the race. Rep. Matt Willhite, whose district also overlaps with SD 29, is also considering a run.

All three are Democrats. Political newcomer Brian Andrew Norton has filed to run as a Republican as well.

Abruzzo currently works at The Berman Law Group. In addition to his tenure serving HD 81, Abruzzo spent four years in the House from 2008-2012. He then won the race for Senate District 25 in 2012 and served one term.

In declining a run this year, Abruzzo said he would hold off endorsing any of the Democratic candidates as of yet.

“I was extremely fortunate to be succeeded by exceptional leaders with Kevin in the Senate and the two separate House district areas I served, with Tina Polsky and Matt Willhite. Many others mentioned who are considering a Senate run I have had the privilege to work with and many I have the privilege to call friends,” Abruzzo said.

“I look forward to shortly welcoming a new Senator to help lead our local community during these unprecedented times. “

SD 29 covers parts of Palm Beach County including South Bay, Belle Glade and Wellington. It extends south into Broward County, covering Parkland.

Qualifying week begins June 8, leaving just weeks for lawmakers to make a decision on whether to pursue the open seat.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


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