Redistricting drama: Sachs leaving, Abruzzo switching to House race


Two of Palm Beach County’s three Democratic state senators announced Wednesday that they will not seek re-election this year — the latest fallout from a court-ordered redistricting plan that put the three senators in the same new district.

State Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, said she’s leaving the Florida Legislature to form a nonprofit foundation called the Coalition Against Human Trafficking. Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Boynton Beach, said he’s scrapping his campaign for a newly drawn south- and west-county Senate seat to instead run for a House seat.

Abruzzo and state Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, announced an agreement in which Abruzzo will run for Rader’s District 81 House seat and Rader will give up his re-election bid to take Abruzzo’s place in the race for the District 29 Senate seat.

The maneuvering comes 16 days before Florida’s June 24 deadline for candidates to submit paperwork and pay filing fees to secure a spot on the 2016 ballot.

Senate districts were redrawn in December after courts ruled the Republican-controlled Legislature illegally gerrymandered Senate seats in 2012. The new plan should boost Democrats statewide, but in Palm Beach County it put Democratic Sens. Abruzzo, Sachs and Jeff Clemens of Atlantis into the same Senate District 31.

Clemens, in line to become Senate Democratic leader in 2018, is running in District 31. Abruzzo, whose old Senate district includes many District 29 residents, launched a District 29 campaign in January with plans to move into the new district.

But Abruzzo has not moved, and in a video statement Wednesday noted that House District 81 is “where I live” and includes many of his current Senate constituents.

Senate and House members receive the same $29,697 salary.

Sachs considered running in either District 29 or 31, but she has not raised campaign money for months and had indicated she might not run at all.

On Wednesday, she announced the anti-trafficking foundation, saying, “I have the opportunity to do this, and I know I cannot serve two masters. This is important work. And I know what it takes to run a good campaign.”

Abruzzo was the only announced candidate in Senate District 29, but state Rep. Irving Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, has recently told other elected officials he plans to run in District 29, which includes a chunk of his House constituents.

“Kevin Rader is running in 29? That’s surprising,” Slosberg said Wednesday. He said he is continuing to weigh a run in Senate District 29 or 31 and is also considering remaining in his south Palm Beach County House seat.

Staff writer John Kennedy contributed to this story.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Trump attacks Kasich over Ohio race — and Kasich welcomes the attention
Trump attacks Kasich over Ohio race — and Kasich welcomes the attention

President Donald Trump taunted Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Monday, asserting that his increasingly vocal Republican rival is "very unpopular" and a "failed presidential candidate," and to blame for the narrow margin in last week's special congressional election in the state.  Kasich responded with an impish tweet: an image of...
‘Immigration hypocrite’: Stephen Miller’s uncle lambastes him in scathing op-ed
‘Immigration hypocrite’: Stephen Miller’s uncle lambastes him in scathing op-ed

Wolf-Leib Glosser fled violence from his small Eastern European village and, with $8 to his name, came to Ellis Island. His children soon followed, and his children's children were born in the American city of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where the family grew and prospered.  Such is what "chain migration" was like at the turn of the 20th...
Trump appears to admit White House aides signed nondisclosure agreements
Trump appears to admit White House aides signed nondisclosure agreements

President Donald Trump appeared to acknowledge on Monday something his aides have declined to confirm for months: his White House had aides sign nondisclosure agreements. The president made the statement in a Twitter post about Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former contestant on “The Apprentice” who became an assistant to the president, and...
Trump-appointed judge upholds constitutionality of Mueller appointment
Trump-appointed judge upholds constitutionality of Mueller appointment

A federal judge upheld the constitutionality of special counsel Robert Mueller's appointment on Monday, finding Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein lawfully named Mueller in May 2017 in a challenge to an indictment brought by a Russian firm accused of funding an Internet trolling operation targeting U.S. voters.  U.S. District Judge Dabney...
‘Everyone signed one’: Trump aggressive in use of nondisclosure agreements, even in government
‘Everyone signed one’: Trump aggressive in use of nondisclosure agreements, even in government

President Donald Trump's bitter fight with a former top White House aide has highlighted his aggressive and unconventional use of nondisclosure agreements to prevent current and former government employees from revealing secrets or disparaging him or his family.  The latest uproar centers on claims in a book by former senior adviser Omarosa Manigault...
More Stories