Correction: Gelber gets Buddy McKay backing, Aronberg gets sheriffsby Dara Kam | December 17th, 2009
State Sen. Dan Gelber and attorney general candidate nailed down another big-name Democratic endorsement, this time from Buddy McKay, who served as lieutenant governor under the late Gov. Lawton Chiles and briefly served as governor after Chiles’ death.
Gelber, a Miami Beach Democrat and former House member, is trying to trade up for the Cabinet post just a year after he won election to the Senate.
He and colleague Dave Aronberg, a Democratic senator from Greenacres, are in a battle-of-the-endorsements.
Post On Politics had erroneously reported that the sheriffs were split on the candidates.
They are not.
Aronberg has the support of 10 Democratic sheriffs, including Palm Beach County’s own law enforcement rock star Ric Bradshaw.
Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, former state education commissioner Betty Castor and former U.S. Rep. Jim Davis have all thrown their support behind Gelber.
Republicans have lined up Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp and Holly Benson, a former House member who also served as secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, in a GOP primary race that’s been virtually silent compared to the Aronberg/Gelber contest.
They’re all vying to replace Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican who is running for governor in a primary against another senator – Paula Dockery.
Gelber’s latest political aspiration has opened up the door for yet another former senator, Gwen Margolis, to return to the chamber.
Margolis, a former Senate President, left office before being termed out to make room for Gelber. If she wins, it would be the Miami Beach-area Democrat’s second return trip to the Senate. After serving in the state House, she switched to the Senate from 1981-1992 before making a losing bid for Congress. Margolis was reelected to the Senate in 2002.