State Rep. Lori Berman, D-Lantana, today rolled out several Democratic endorsements as she pursues the party’s nomination for a special state Senate election to replace Jeff Clemens in Palm Beach County.
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, and former Democratic U.S. Reps. Robert Wexler (for whom Berman once worked) and Patrick Murphy are among those endorsing Berman as she vies against former state state Rep. Irving Slosberg and Arthur Morrison of West Palm Beach in a Jan. 30 primary. The seat is open because Clemens resigned in October after admitting to an extramarital affair with a lobbyist.
Republican Party Vice Chairwoman Tami Donnally is also running for the heavily Democratic seat. The general election is April 10 — after the regular 2018 legislative session ends.
Berman, serving her fourth term in the state House, announced endorsements from 27 state lawmakers, including Palm Beach County Democratic state Sens. Bobby Powell and Kevin Rader and state Rep. Matt Willhite of Wellington.
“Lori is a true progressive leader, a tireless fighter for women’s rights, and will make an excellent State Senator. I am proud to endorse her,” said Deutch.
Slosberg downplayed Berman’s endorsements.
“It’s Irv Slosberg vs. the political machine — again,” Slosberg said.
Slosberg took on the Democratic machine and won in 2000, ousting former Rep. Curt Levine to win a House seat. The machine got its revenge in 2006 when Deutch, making his first run for office, got the backing of many party leaders and defeated Slosberg in a state Senate primary. Slosberg won a House seat again in 2010, but left in 2016 to challenge the party establishment again; he lost a bid to unseat incumbent Sen. Clemens.
Said Slosberg: “I just want the endorsements of the people.”