Billionaire’s trust helps propel Lauren Book’s six-figure December fundraising
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 9/21/21-Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, speaks during the Senate Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

The Senate Democratic Leader could be shifted into a Senate District with an incumbent Democratic Senator.

Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book had one of her best fundraising months of the cycle in December, collecting $119,500.

That showing was fueled by a smattering of contributions from different sectors representing health care, law firms, insurance, real estate and entertainment interests. Her political committee collected $117,000 of that total.

It’s going to be the last chance for Book to fundraise for a while. The Plantation Senator, whose haul often fuels other Democrats’ campaigns, is barred from collecting cash when the Legislature is in Session, as other lawmakers are.

The biggest single donation — $15,000 — came from the West Palm Beach-based trust of an American billionaire businessman, M. Jude Reyes, whose food and distribution company is fast-food giant McDonald’s largest distributor.

Book’s committee received $10,000 donations from U.S. Sugar Corp. of Clewiston; Ged Lawyers of Boca Raton; Voice of Florida Business PAC of Tallahassee; and Caesars Enterprises of Las Vegas.

Book’s committee collected $5,000 checks from The Haggard Law Firm of Coral Gables; CDR Maguire, a Miami logistics and engineering firm; FTBA TransPac, a Tampa-based transportation political committee; The Geo Group, a Boca Raton-based private prison company; the Florida Police Benevolent Association, a Tallahassee-based political committee; Manuel Kadre, a Coral Gables law firm; and Mam Title Consultants, based in North Miami.

Health care was represented among her list of supporters, with entities donating a total of $12,000. That consisted of a number of donations including $2,500 donations from PhRMA, a medical research trade association in Washington, and Curaleaf, a medical marijuana company in Cutler Bay.

Realtors also checked in, donating $10,500 to Book’s campaign. Realtors Political Advocacy Committee of Orlando gave $7,500, and Shopping Center Management of Aventura donated $3,000.

Book’s biggest December expenditure sent $7,500 to CVS Comms, a communications consultant based in Gainesville.

After expenditures, Book has nearly $2.7 million in available cash between her committee and her personal account.

As things stand now, Book has drawn a challenger in SD 32. But that challenger, Diana Bivona Belviso, reports no cash on hand and did not raise anything in December.

The current redistricting could shift Book’s situation, however.

The Senate District map that advanced shows Book’s address inside of Senate District 33, Sen. Perry Thurston’s old district. He resigned from that seat effective this month. Rosalind Osgood competed and won in a Special Primary to represent SD 33 district Tuesday and she is heavily favored to win the Special General Election in March. Rep. Patricia Hawkins-Williams has announced she’s going to run for the Senate and that is one of the districts she could be competing in.

Book’s campaign was faced a Monday deadline to report all campaign activity through Dec. 31.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


  • Nick Ireland

    January 14, 2022 at 12:42 pm

    I see Senator Rhymes-with-Crook is still taking GEO Group blood money even after they were sued in Mississippi for allowing physical and sexual abuse to take place in the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility. When confronted with the news of abuse years ago, Senator Book dismissed the news, stating it wasn’t a Florida issue.

    Senator Book cares more about cash than kids.

    • Brandi Reaves

      January 14, 2022 at 1:53 pm

      Jealous that the fundraiser for your sex offender club website only pulled in $265.

  • just sayin

    January 14, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    Odd to see a Democrat taking Big Sugar’s money. Guess we’re not getting any progress this year on that front.

Comments are closed.


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