If retired state legislator Steve Geller decides to jump out of his race against County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger and into the open seat left by retiring Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin, he would start with a huge financial advantage.
Geller, a Democrat, currently has about $160,000 left unspent from his county account (though donors would have to give him the go-ahead for the transfer) and his committee, Floridians for a Stronger Tomorrow. A source near the campaign expects Geller to report as much as $80,000 in additional donations for the quarter next week.
So far, Pembroke Pines City Commissioner Angelo Castillo, a Democrat, and Republican Southwest Ranches Town Council Member Steve Breitkreuz and Pines Republican Christopher Max Ziadie have filed. The seat leans Democratic.
Castillo has some advantages: he has close ties to Judy Stern, a prominent campaign consultant/lobbyist and his name is wellknown in the social services field, currently as president of the nonprofit Broward House. He also lives in the district unlike Geller. Castillo, who is originally from Cuba, would do well among Hispanic voters who make up a big chunk of the district.