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Dems may tap Broward Sen. Ring for CFO candidate

Update included below:


Sen. Jeremy Ring, a Parkland Democrat and former founding partner of Yahoo, said he expects to decide within a week to 10 days about whether to run for CFO this year.

Ring says that state party leaders have encouraged him to run now that CFO Jeff Atwater is interviewing for the FAU presidency. (Ring applied for the FAU job too but did not get an interview.)

Ring said he won’t have to resign his state senate seat to run. (Hat tip to @fineout for pointing out under Florida law Ring can't qualify to run for more than one office.)

He had hoped to hold that seat until 2016 and then run for CFO in 2018 but the news about Atwater has potentially sped up his plans.

“I have to determine if the timing is right,” Ring said.

The benefit of running now would be competing in a campaign that would last less than a year. But Ring said that he also has to consider the impact on his four children, ages 7 to 13.

Ring is an attractive candidate to the Democratic Party because of his business experience at Yahoo and personal wealth -- he listed his net worth at about $14 million as of the end of 2012. Ring hinted that he would invest some of his own fortune in the race.

“If I was getting in it I’d get in it to win,” he said. “I’ve done that before.”

Ring has made nearly $900,000 in campaign contributions over the past decade -- a good portion of that loans to his own campaigns, according to state campaign finance records.

Broward hasn’t had much success in fronting statewide candidates in recent years. Former sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston, is running a longshot race for governor. State Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Lauderhill, has raised about $21,000 in his race for Attorney General while incumbent Republican Pam Bondi has raised more than a half million.

In addition to dealing with financial matters, the CFO gets a vote on Florida’s four-person Cabinet which deals with hot topics including restoring the rights of felons to vote after their release from prison. Ring said that he supported former Gov. Charlie Crist’s efforts to make it easier for felons to regain that right to vote -- a move that was reversed under Gov. Rick Scott.

“For the most part I believe if you serve your time you should be able to move on in society,” he said.

Read more about the other potential CFO candidates here.