Broward battle for HD 100 pits longtime pol against Democrat with redistricting on her side

Gonzalez-LaMarca
Chip LaMarca is the only Republican Representative elected in a district entirely contained within Broward County.

Both Republican Rep. Chip LaMarca and his Democratic challenger, Linda Thompson Gonzalez, are hitting new personal fundraising records, pulling in larger and larger hauls as the contest to represent coastal Broward County heads to a climax.

No General Election legislative race has attracted more money in Broward County than the one for House District 100, which stretches roughly from Port Everglades to the Palm Beach County line. As of Oct. 21, the race was just about $50,000 shy of the $1 million mark in terms of money raised.

The money race is a lopsided one, however. LaMarca, who has been in elected office for 17 years, dwarfs Gonzalez in fundraising prowess. Her fundraising haul from outside donors netted about $87,000 as of Oct. 21. That’s about $2,000 less than LaMarca’s personal account received in just 14 days from Oct. 7 to Oct. 21. Gonzalez also loaned her campaign $10,000 for the race.

Between his personal account and political committee, Citizens Helping Improve Policy, LaMarca raised $165,450 in 14 days. Still, LaMarca could have a tough go at winning a third term in the House if voters stick to party lines.

Redistricting shifted the makeup of his district from a group supporting President Donald Trump by the slimmest of margins under old boundaries to supporting President Joe Biden by 0.61 percentage points. That erased the sole Broward County district that leaned Republican, according to election data expert Matt Isbell of MCI Maps.

Democrats account for 9,373 voters in the district, compared to just 6,483 GOP voters. That means Democratic voters represent 46% of the total electorate while GOP voters represent just 32%, according to the most recent L2 voter data.

Gonzalez, a retired diplomat, is running a grassroots campaign that’s drawn 639 donors. Of that number, 21 gave the maximum allowed, but the vast majority chipped in $100 or less, with many of them drawn from the ranks of local politicians. All but a handful of her donations are from individual voters.

In contrast, LaMarca drew 748 contributions to his personal account and 392 of those donors gave the maximum $1,000 allowed for an individual donation. Also, nine donations to his committee netted his campaign $125,000 this cycle. LaMarca also received high-dollar support from the state Republican apparatus. The Republican Party of Florida provided LaMarca $38,450 worth of in-kind support and the Florida House Republican Campaign Committee gave him $49,000 in cash and $13,548 worth of in-kind support.

LaMarca is headed into this election without an endorsement some say is priceless, however. For the first time in his 17 years running for office, he did not get the endorsement of the Sun-Sentinel. His voting record, the paper’s editorial said, too often sided with DeSantis on extreme agenda items.

LaMarca supported the measure that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest. He also voted “yes” on voting legislation that created an elections police force and added hurdles to voting by mail.

LaMarca has received endorsements from unions representing first responders, the Florida Realtors PAC, the Associated Builders and Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter, The Hispanic Vote, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries of Florida, The Associated General Contractors of America, the Broward Allied Medical Political Action Committee, the National Federation of Independent Businesses PAC, the International Longshoremen’s Association and the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

In addition to the Sun-Sentinel’s endorsement, Gonzalez, meanwhile, has received nods from Ruth’s List Florida, a group dedicated to electing female politicians for abortion rights, Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the Broward Young Democrats.

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]


2 comments

  • Tom

    November 5, 2022 at 10:35 am

    I have been around Rep LaMarca a few times in the past months and he’s appears to be a very good representative. Very balanced in tone and voice.

    Seems to be very engaged locally.

  • PRC

    November 8, 2022 at 9:21 am

    Report that Chip has always gotten the Sun Sentinel endorsement is patently false. They endorsed Ken Keechl in 2010 for Broward County Commission.

    Please revise your article.

Comments are closed.


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