Broward County’s reputation as a deep-blue county is certainly warranted. It’s arguably the most Democratic-leaning of all large counties in the state.
Amid that sea of blue though sits House District 93, represented by Republican Rep. Chip LaMarca. House District 105, which extends upward from Miami-Dade County into Broward, is also represented by a Republican. But LaMarca’s district is the only House district fully contained inside Broward to be served by a Republican.
LaMarca is certainly aware of that reality, pushing bipartisan measures in his first term such as a landmark bill allowing college athletes in the state to get paid starting in 2021. LaMarca has also focused on issues relating to climate change, and he supports same-sex marriage.
Of course, he also has backed traditional GOP positions such as opposing a minimum wage hike to $15 per hour and expressing skepticism of full marijuana legalization.
Democrats are looking to flip the seat — as well as District 105 — and turn Broward fully blue. Enter Linda Thompson Gonzalez, a former U.S. State Department Assistant Inspector General, who’s looking to oust LaMarca.
She’ll face an uphill challenge, as LaMarca won the seat by 7 points. in 2018. LaMarca also has an overall fundraising advantage, though there are signs Thompson Gonzalez could give him a run on Tuesday.
One of those signs is a mid-October survey from St. Pete Polls showing Thompson Gonzalez 1 point behind LaMarca. The incumbent’s 46%-45% lead was well within the survey’s margin of error, meaning the outcome may come down to whose supporters turn out stronger.
While LaMarca has been the money leader, Thompson Gonzalez has picked up her fundraising pace since General Election campaigning began. That pace slowed in mid-October, however. As of Oct. 16, LaMarca held close to $150,000, compared to just under $36,000 for Thompson Gonzalez.
He has also been endorsed by Broward County School Board Member Lori Alhadeff. Alhadeff lost her daughter, Alyssa, in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Schoolshooting. After that attack, Alhadeff ran for and won the District 4 seat on the School Board.
She cited LaMarca’s support for a law to require and help fund a mobile panic alert system for all public and charter schools.
Among the parts of Broward County that HD 93 covers are Lighthouse Point and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
LaMarca served several years on the Lighthouse Point City Commission before running for a Broward County Commission seat in 2010. He served on the County Commission for eight years before joining the Florida House.
Before LaMarca, Republican George Moraitis held the HD 93 seat for eight straight years. Democratic candidates Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson both won the district in 2018, however. That shows Thompson Gonzalez has room to make the race competitive.
Democrats likely have slightly better odds to win the HD 105 seat, which would turn Broward even more blue. But to fully secure control of the county delegation, they’ll have to get through a well-funded incumbent in LaMarca on Tuesday.