Three Democrats vie for first elected office in southwest Broward’s HD 101

Hillary Cassel has earned and spent the most, but her closest rival received the most free notice.

Three Democrats with varied experience on the political stage are vying to score elected office for the first time, representing House District 101 in southwest Broward County.

The seat — which covers parts of Dania Beach, Hallandale Beach, Davie and Hollywood — came open because Rep. Evan Jenne is term-limited.

The vacancy has drawn Hillary Cassel, a former assistant district attorney and the front-runner in the money race; Todd Delmay, an LGBTQ activist who was part of a major lawsuit years ago over the right to marry his same-sex partner; and Clay Miller, an aide to Broward County Commissioner Beam Furr and President of the Broward Young Democrats.

Whoever wins in this pileup of Democrats on Aug. 23 will meet the Republican who has filed for the seat, Guy Silla. But the Democratic Primary winner is heavily favored to win the seat. President Joe Biden won in this district by 14 percentage points, according to election data analyst Matt Isbell, of MCI Maps.

To that end, Cassel, also co-founder of the Hollywood law firm Cassel & Cassel, has raised the most money among the three, with lawyers accounting for her biggest set of donors. Between her personal account and her political committee, Friends of Hillary Cassel, she’s raised a total of $441,183 from donors and loaned her campaign $50,000.

Cassel has raised more than three times the money her closest rival in the money race, Delmay, has but now it’s down to five figures for both in terms of cash on hand.

Cassel has dropped $160,528 between July 2 and Aug. 5 on her campaign, with the bulk of it showing up in people’s mailboxes. Mission Control Inc. in Glastonbury, Connecticut was paid $64,667 for printed material and mailers for the campaign. The campaign dropped another $6,000 on mailers with Folding Chair Consulting in Oakland Park and $2,000 with Johnson Strategies in Oakland Park.

Her campaign also spent $48,328 with Impact Politics LLC in Woodland Hills, California for an expenditure described as “advertising.” The campaign sent $10,000 to Vancore Jones Communications LLC in Tallahassee for video production, and $12,500 to 1776 Inc. in Wilton Manors for the campaign’s “field program.”

Delmay, who raised a total of $137,317 from donors and loaned his campaign $2,022, reaped the most in earned media out of any other candidate in the race when the Sun-Sentinel endorsed him for the post.

His spending in the last six weeks focused on digital and mail consulting with the campaign’s biggest buy — $53,521 — going to MDW Communications LLC in Plantation $53,521 for that in early July.

Miller, who raised a total of $89,630 from donors and lent his campaign $5,000, also spent the largest share of his campaign kitty on mailers, with $41,036 going to Victory Political Mail in West Palm Beach for mailing and printing services between July 2 and Aug. 5, out of the total $51,431 he’s spent for the entire campaign.

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].


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