Jay Shooster says he’s raised nearly $300K in bid for Palm Beach County’s HD 91
Image via Jay Shooster.

Jay Shooster
The first-time candidate has attracted a number of donors across the country.

Boca Raton Democrat Jay Shooster says he’s added nearly $300,000 in his bid to represent Palm Beach County’s House District 91 ahead of his first personal campaign account report due next week.

The Boca Raton lawyer is taking on freshman GOP Rep. Peggy Gossett-Seidman, who flipped the district covering Boca Raton and Highland Beach into the Republican column in the last election. Most of the district’s current territory traditionally has been in the Democratic column.

Shooster, an artificial intelligence policy fellow at the Center for Future Mind at Florida Atlantic University, says he’s thankful that his opening message in this race has attracted so much support. The first-time candidate collected more than $220,000 through his political committee, Future Leaders Florida, and nearly $70,000 through his personal campaign account, his campaign said.

“I’m so grateful for the huge amount of support I’ve received so far,” Shooster said in a prepared statement. “Our message of pushing back against extremism in Tallahassee is really resonating with people. I’ve spent my career fighting for consumers and I’m ready to continue that fight in the Legislature.”

Shooster, a graduate of New York University School of Law, has also been an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School, and gained national attention for legally challenging companies’ deceptive practices. Shooster’s efforts have resulted in the removal of misleading marketing claims from prominent food companies, according to his biography.

As for financial support, his personal campaign account doesn’t show the specific donors yet because the report isn’t due until next week. But his political committee reports show Shooster’s message has been attracting donors from across the country since April. Donations from the first two reports add up to $205,000 collected.

Sabina Makhdomi, a Brooklyn nurse practitioner, gave Shooster’s campaign $20,000. He also received $15,000 from Li Physiatry, a Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, physical medicine and rehabilitation office, reports show.

Shooster also received $10,000 checks from Dorothy Shooster, a Boca Raton retiree; William Stebbing-Sender, a Walnut Creek, California, consultant; Jacob Eliosoff, a New York resident working in finance; Simon Townsend-Last, a chief technology officer in San Francisco; Zachary Freitas-Groff, Palo Alto student; and Todor Markov, a San Francisco technical staffer.

Doctors, research scientists and a physicist are also among his donors.

Ahead of the deadline to report June’s donations, Shooster’s Republican rival shows $11,500 on hand. Incumbent lawmakers are not allowed to collect money during Session, however. The 2023 Legislative Session ended in May.

Gossett-Seidman’s battle to win the seat in 2022 was South Florida’s most expensive House race. The district included much territory that Democratic Rep. Emily Slosberg-King represented. Ultimately, Gossett-Seidman prevailed 52%-48% over Boca Raton Council member Andy Thomson, running as a Democrat, even though Thomson outraised her by substantial amounts.

Shooster’s campaign is highlighting the candidate’s upbringing that instilled a deep appreciation for Jewish traditions and Holocaust education. His family’s support of the Jewish Federation and the Anti-Defamation League has fueled his commitment to protecting the Jewish community, a news release said.

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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