Five senators back Hillary Cassel in HD 99 Democratic primary

Hillary Cassel flag photo
The endorsements could give Cassel a leg up in the three-way Primary.

Five Democratic senators are throwing their weight behind Hillary Cassel as she seeks that party’s nomination in House District 99.

Cassel, a lawyer, is battling Barry Faske, a member of the Florida Green Building Coalition’s board of directors, and Jeremy Katzman, an administrator at Nova Southeastern University’s Health Professions Division, in the Democratic Primary.

Wednesday, Cassel received a significant boost, as Democratic Sens. Lori Berman, Janet Cruz, Shevrin Jones, Tina Polsky and Perry Thurston all said they would back her bid.

“Hillary Cassel is the strong voice South Florida needs in the state House,” Jones said in a written statement.

“Our democracy is under attack and we need accessible, accountable leadership focused on addressing the challenges impacting our daily lives. I am confident that Hillary will prioritize what matters most — from protecting voting rights, to commonsense solutions to reduce gun violence, to building a healthier, more equitable state where everyone can thrive.”

House Democratic Co-Leader Evan Jenne currently represents HD 99. He’s facing term limits in 2022, leaving the seat up for grabs. Cassel entered the contest in February. She and her husband, Michael, co-founded their law firm, Cassel & Cassel, P.A. The firm focuses on property damage lawsuits, representing individuals seeking insurance payouts after dealing with a fire, storm damage or other catastrophic events.

“I have seen Hillary in action fighting for the rights of consumers in Tallahassee — including before the Judiciary Committee, on which I sit in the state Senate,” Polsky added.

“She will make an excellent state Representative and I look forward to working with her to advance Democratic principles and move Florida forward by standing up for public schools, making health care more affordable for families and protecting women’s rights.”

Thus far, Cassel has been the best fundraiser in the contest. Faske has yet to file his first fundraising report, however. That report is due Monday, along with reports covering June fundraising numbers for Cassel and Katzman.

“I am grateful to have earned the trust of such a broad spectrum of Democratic leaders, especially those here in Broward County,” Cassel said in response to the endorsements. “Joining them in addressing the issues we face as a state, from protecting the environment to improving access to mental health care, is a challenge I intend to tackle head-on starting on day one.”

Jones and Polsky each joined the Senate with wins last November after serving in the House. Berman secured reelection in 2020, earning her first full term after winning a Special Election for the Senate District 31 seat. Cruz will wrap her first full term next year.

Thurston is into his second Senate term, but has announced his intention to run in the open race to replace the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings in Florida’s 20th Congressional District.

HD 99 runs through portions of Broward County including Southwest Ranches, Cooper City, Dania Beach and Davie.

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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