Musical chairs: Lauren Book refiles to run in SD 35, Jason Pizzo in SD 37
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 4/29/21-Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, left, talks with Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-North Miami Beach, at the start of the 2021 session, Thursday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Candidate Janelle Perez also shifted her candidacy to SD 38.

A Senate map just approved by members of the chamber already has candidates shuffling their election paperwork.

Most notably, Democratic Minority Leader Lauren Book has refiled her candidacy for Senate District 35, avoiding a showdown with an incoming member of her caucus.

Additionally, Sen. Jason Pizzo, a Miami-Dade Democrat, changed his filing to Senate District 37, where he lives on the new map.

And Janelle Perez, a Miami Democrat set to challenge Republican Sen. Ileana Garcia, has filed in Senate District 38.

The shifts come after the Senate approved new political boundaries to govern elections for the next decade, beginning with the 2022 election cycle. The process did not take into account where current incumbents live, Senate Reapportionment Committee leaders said. That resulted in a map (S 8058) with the potential to pit as many as eight Senators against colleagues within the chamber. But it’s already become clear many incumbents will move to avoid such conflicts.

Book, who last year took over as the Senate’s lead Democrat, ended up living in proposed SD 32, which appears more analogous to a majority Black district most recently represented by Sen. Perry Thurston, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat.

Broward County School Board Chair Rosalind Osgood won a Democrat primary in the existing Senate District 33, and is the heavy favorite in an upcoming election to serve out Thurston’s term. But she lives in SD 32 under the new map.

Osgood may have gone into a Primary this summer as a favorite as well, even against Book. Her School Board district is located in the new SD 32, as is much of the existing SD 33. About 46.15% of voting age population residents in the district are Black, again thumbing the scales for Osgood.

Meanwhile, the bulk of Book’s current Senate District 32 seat actually falls on the new map in SD 35, where she has now filed to run. That may require living in a location outside of Plantation, but she’ll move closer to the voters she has represented for years.

As for Pizzo, he lives in the proposed SD 37 and has now officially filed to run in that district, leaving the numbering of his current SD 38 behind. While there are technically three other candidates filed now for SD 37, none of them live within the district under the lines passed by the Senate.

There is still some drama to resolve, as Sen. Gary Farmer, a Lighthouse Point Democrat, lives in SD 37 under the new map as well. It’s been rumored he may run in neighboring Senate District 30. But Sen. Tina Polsky, a Boca Raton Democrat, previously announced she plans to run in that district rather than stay in the new Senate District 26 and face Sen. Lori Berman, a Delray Beach Democrat.

As for Perez, she was already among the Democrats filed to run in the current SD 37 against Garcia, who won her seat in 2020 by a razor-thin 34-vote margin. Now, Garcia lives in the proposed SD 38. Perez has filed for a presumptive match against the incumbent there.

Meanwhile, Rep. Michael Grieco, a Miami Democrat who had also filed to challenge Garcia, is filing on Monday in Senate District 36, where he lives on the new Senate map.

On the Republican side, Sen. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican, announced he will move to avoid a primary with Sen. Keith Perry, a Gainesville Republican.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • rather be on vacation

    January 21, 2022 at 8:57 am

    It will always begin to be democratic why else they need a collection of your voting loans loans and some advertise it for suspicious reasons. fake comment

  • Nick Ireland

    January 28, 2022 at 5:09 pm

    I just want Lauren Book to run against someone who actually wants to run for office because the crooked legislator would not win a single debate unless the only topic was playing professional victim.

Comments are closed.


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