May 12, 2022

Lauren Book submits 2.6K petitions to qualify in SD 35

Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book is turning to community support to qualify for the 2022 ballot, submitting more than 2,600 petitions to qualify in the Senate District 35 contest.

State law says state Senate candidates must submit at least 1,798 valid signatures to qualify via the petition method. Book has already exceeded that total, though her submissions will need to be verified before things are official.

Book is attempting to show strong support from the community, as she faces her first ever Democratic Primary challenge from former Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief.

“I am grateful to members of my community for their overwhelming show of support,” Book said in a Thursday morning statement. “I look forward to continuing to fight for Broward County and our shared values, like women’s rights, equality, and expanded access to health care.”

Book held a campaign launch event last weekend at Tanglewood Park in Pembroke Pines. And she has already garnered widespread support from Democratic elected leaders as she runs for re-election.

Among those backing Book’s campaign are 11 of her 15 Democratic Senate colleagues, as well as Broward County Commissioners Steve Geller, Jared Moskowitz and Nan Rich, and former Sen. Perry Thurston. The Broward County Police Benevolent Association has also endorsed Book, as has Ruth’s List Florida, an organization committed to backing Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights.

Book has brought on several high-profile staff hires to assist during this year’s election effort. And she has continued to post impressive fundraising numbers, a staple of serving in party leadership. That cash will go a long way in fending off Sharief’s Primary challenge.

Leader Book also recently celebrated a major policy win, as Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a tax relief package which includes a provision making baby diapers tax-free for one year. Book has fought for that tax break for years during her Senate tenure, and said she will continue pushing to make the tax relief permanent.

Sharief ran last year in the Special Primary Election for the seat in Florida’s 20th Congressional District while facing term limits on the Broward County Commission. She had been considering another run for Congress, but the redistricting process also drew her out of the district analogous to CD 20. That led her to consider a run for the Senate and a rare challenge to a party colleague in a leadership position.

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