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Ring, Porth to lead Broward legislative delegation

The Broward legislative delegation selected state Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Parkland, to serve as the Broward delegation chairman for the next year, while state Rep. Ari Porth, D-Coral Spring, will be the delegation's vice chairman.

"Given that our offices abut one another -- and the walls are thin -- we've gotten to know each other quite well," said Democratic state Sen. Ted Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat who represents part of Broward and  nominated Ring. "Jeremy Ring is a senator who can work with Democrats and Republicans alike, and he will also make sure that the Legislature will always put Florida first."

Ring takes over for term-limited state Rep. Jack Seiler, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, while Porth replaces Ring as the vice chairman.

"Ari has been a member of this community for many years," said state Rep. Nan Rich, a Weston Democrat who nominated Porth. "And the one word that that comes to mind out of all his involvement is compassion. This is one person who cares so much for every member of this community."

Ring said some of the overriding issues for the delegation will be -- not surprisingly -- the state economy and budget.

"It doesn't need to be said we're in a financial mess right now," Ring said. "Everyone agrees that the money's not there. There is no tree outside the grows dollar bills."

But Ring said he wants the focus to be on studying ways to expand Florida's economic base beyond real estate, tourism and agriculture by looking to technology and green industry.

"We're going to talk about the innovation that's going on in Broward County," he said. "We're going to get everyone excited about what's going on in the schools, what's going on in the hospitals...We've got kids in Broward County that are going to change the world because they're innovators."