Democratic candidates for open Broward Senate seat collect a combined $170K in Q1

Chad Klitzman Barbara Sharief Rodney Jacobs
They’re running to succeed Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book, who is leaving office due to term limits.

Three Democrats seeking the soon-to-be-open seat representing Senate District 35 in Broward County raised more than $170,000 combined last quarter.

Lawyer Chad Klitzman led with $86,000 collected between Jan. 1 and March 31. That’s $4,000 less than what his campaign announced he’d amassed in the quarter earlier this month.

Former Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief placed second in fundraising with $61,000, of which all but $9,000 was self-loaned.

Miami Civilian Investigative Panel Executive Director Rodney Jacobs, meanwhile, received hundreds of small donations and four-figure contributions from a couple of political committees for a $24,000 haul he spent in the same period.

More than 100 people donated to Klitzman in Q1 through his campaign account and political committee, Future of Broward Inc. He also gave his campaign $6,000, and a family trust chipped in another $1,600.

But most of his gains came from one source, Blaker Concrete Construction Inc., an Ohio-based company that donated $50,000.

He also received $2,500 from the Greater Miami Health and Training Center and $2,000 from Sarasota-based FCCI Insurance Group.

Klitzman spent $26,000 last quarter on legal services, consulting, campaign literature, web services, t-shirts, banking and donation-processing fees. By April 1, he had more than $252,000 left to spend, inclusive of $100,000 worth of self-loans.

Sharief has also been heavily self-reliant. Since re-filing to run for SD 35 in September 2022 after losing to Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book, who is leaving office due to term limits, Sharief has poured $184,000 from her bank account into her campaign coffers.

Whether she’ll again expend $500,000 of her money for the seat remains to be seen.

More than 30 people donated to Sharief last quarter. She also loaned her campaign $52,000. Her biggest giver, aside from herself, was the Rick Case Auto Group, which donated $5,000.

Sharief’s spending in Q1 equaled her fundraising, $61,000. It overwhelmingly covered consulting costs but also paid for software, phone service, car rentals, security, data access, event tickets and sponsorships, food, checks, supplies for a volunteer event and donation-processing fees.

Jacobs, who launched his campaign in September last year, received personal checks from more than 200 people. Most were for fewer than $100.

David Lawrence, a former publisher of the Miami Herald and the current Chair — and founder — of The Children’s Movement of Florida, gave $250. Adam Saper, a former Assistant Public Defender who now serves as Jacobs’ Assistant Director at the Miami Investigative Panel, donated $200.

Jacobs also received $1,000 apiece from Empower Florida PC Inc., a political committee based in Fort Lauderdale, and Imagine Miami PAC. Imagine Miami is a Miami-Dade-based political committee chaired by former Miami Mayor and County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, the father of current Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

Jacobs spent $31,000 and had $29,000 remaining by April 1. His spending covered travel, lodging, consulting, food, supplies, web services, t-shirts and donation-processing fees.

One Republican is running for SD 35: Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Vinny Parlatore. He’s raised $500 since filing in September and reported no campaign finance activity in Q1.

SD 35, a heavily Democratic-leaning district in Broward that stretches westward into Alligator Alley and includes Cooper City, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Southwest Ranches and parts of Davie and Hollywood.

The Primary Election is on Aug. 20, followed by the General Election on Nov. 5.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.



    April 20, 2024 at 11:00 am

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    • rick whitaker

      April 20, 2024 at 11:50 am


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