Joe Abruzzo weighing run for Palm Beach County Clerk
Joe Abruzzo is a shoo-in, facing only a write in candidiate.

Joe Abruzzo
Abruzzo has a decade of experience in the state Legislature.

After Joe Abruzzo turned down a run to return to the Senate, the former lawmaker now says he’s considering a campaign to be the next Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller.

“This is a public service job I have been looking at for many years,” Abruzzo said in a statement to Florida Politics.

“My time in the Senate and the House mirrored much of the responsibilities at the state level of this office, from my time as Audit Committee Chairman, Vice Chairman of Finance and Tax, democratic ranking member on Ways and Means, serving on the Justice Appropriations Committee that funded the judicial branch and working on our overall $80 billion-plus annual budget for a decade, which included funding the Clerk and Comptroller’s office.”

Abruzzo, a former member of the Coast Guard, most recently represented House District 81 from 2016-2018, which covers portions of southern Palm Beach County.

Abruzzo also served the region for four years in the House from 2008-2012. He then won the race for Senate District 25 in 2012 and served one term.

In addition to his work pulling state funding back to the region, Abruzzo also passed around 50 different bills into law during his time in the Legislature. That history includes Abruzzo’s work on the law to set up the Silver Alert system, which helps authorities find missing adults.

After going through a rough divorce, Abruzzo stepped away from state politics in 2018 to raise his young son.

At the local level, Abruzzo also has experience working as an administrative assistant at the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, 4th district. There, Abruzzo managed attorneys and staff for the 15th, 17th and 19th Judicial Circuits.

Abruzzo was rumored as a potential candidate for Senate District 29 and Sen. Kevin Rader stepped away from his reelection effort. Abruzzo declined a bid for that seat, but says he’s been encouraged to consider a run for Palm Beach County Clerk.

“I have been speaking with community leaders across the county: union organizations, former colleagues and friends from all levels of government and most importantly, my family,” Abruzzo said.

“If the conclusion is to run, we most likely will enter the race with overwhelming support and the resources to run a competitive campaign for the position.”

Current Clerk Sharon Bock has served in that role for four straight terms. She announced earlier this year she would not seek reelection.

Instead, Bock has endorsed Shannon Chessman as her preferred successor. Chessman works under Bock as the office’s chief operating officer. So far, Chessman is the only candidate to file for the 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]


  • Francis Biden

    June 3, 2020 at 10:43 am

    Joe Abruzzo is an example of an exemplary public servant. He has a long track record of working across party lines for the public good. We here in Palm beach county would be lucky to have him in this important Administrative position.

  • Michael

    June 3, 2020 at 11:53 am

    LOL are you trying to have Biden lose? This guy is a crook and trash

    • Robert Finerty

      June 6, 2020 at 12:42 pm

      You should read Joseph’s resume again. He made many changes as a state senator. He is far over qualified for a county position. The county would be very lucky to have someone with half of his experience.

    • Kesha

      June 6, 2020 at 12:46 pm

      Michael, what do you base your false comments on? He has no criminal record. Do you know him personally to make the comment that he is “trash” you sound jealous.

  • Marie

    June 5, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Very few people understand the complexity of the Clerk & comptroller’s Office. I don’t think his experience qualifies him to serve the citizens of Palm Beach county in this role.

Comments are closed.


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