Democratic state Rep. Irving Slosberg, who spent $1.9 million of his own money on a losing state Senate bid, says he’s probably done with politics and is “fine” after his defeat Tuesday by Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Atlantis.
And as for all that money he spent?
“Of course I’d like it back in my pocket. Sure,” Slosberg said in a phone interview today from one of the many south-county Starbucks he frequents.
Slosberg, who turned 70 last week, first ran for office in 2000 as a traffic safety crusader after his teenage daughter, Dori Slosberg, and four other teens were killed in a 1996 car crash west of Boca Raton. He says he’ll continue pushing for safety measures as chairman of the nonprofit Dori Slosberg Foundation. The job will be open because the current chair — Emily Slosberg, Dori’s twin sister — won her Democratic primary on Tuesday for her father’s state House seat.
Clemens got 52.3 percent to win the District 31 Democratic Senate primary. Slosberg got 32.5 percent and Emmanuel Morel placed third with 15.2 percent.
“He had a much better ground game than I had,” Slosberg, who spent heavily on advertising, said of Clemens. “I have no hard feelings.”
Slosberg has held his House seat since 2010; he previously served in the House from 2000 to 2006, leaving office that year to pursue a losing Senate primary bid that cost him $2.8 million.
Slosberg said he’s proud of his work in the legislature on traffic safety, which has steered millions of dollars for driver ed programs and guardrails and laid the groundwork for the 2009 enactment of Florida’s law stepping up seat belt enforcement.
“People could call me a one-issue candidate but at the end of the day someone’s got to do it. I was the only person for all these years in the legislature who was focused on public safety, road safety. Someone had to do that job. I was tasked with that job because my daughter died in a traffic crash,” Slosberg said.
“I’ve won some, I’ve lost some and all in all I’m fine,” he said. “I know one thing for sure: Irv Slosberg saved a lot of lives on the roadway and brought a lot of money to drivers education, saving more lives.”