Fresh off loss, Barbara Sharief announces 2024 Senate run

Fresh off loss, Barbara Sharief announces 2024 Senate run

The health care executive has already filed to run for what will be an open seat in 2024.

Even if Barbara Sharief’s bid to represent Senate District 35 saw her on the losing side of the most bruising Primary battle in the state, Sharief announced Tuesday that she’s getting back in the game.

And she’s going to be running to represent SD 35, even if she’s suing the current occupant of the seat, Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book.

“The Primary showed me the huge amount of support I have, and how much good I can do for the community I represented as Commissioner for 13 years,” Sharief said.

Sharief, first elected to the Miramar City Commission, then the Broward County Commission — where she became the county’s first Black female Mayor — lost to Sen. Book in the Aug. 23 Primary. She won 40% of the vote to Book’s 60%.

This time, Book will not be standing in her way. Book, first elected in 2016, can’t run for the seat because she is term-limited.

Sharief’s run this year was the cause of much Democratic angst, however. Book’s Primary fight kept her from her traditional leadership role of supporting up-and-coming Democrats in less-blue parts of the state.

Many would have preferred that Sharief, who runs a health care company that employs hundreds, wait until 2024 in the first place. For the next election, SD 35 will be an open seat, and the spectacle of a Democrat fighting a Democrat would have been avoided.

The contest resulted in millions spent on negative ads lobbed at each other. One of those ads is the subject of a lawsuit Sharief filed against Book. The libel suit is still pending in court, and Sharief said she does not plan to drop it.

The negative ads against Book were not the only way Sharief may have alienated the colleagues she wants to join in Tallahassee.

She also appeared next to Miami Democratic Rep. James Bush III at a news conference in support of Bush as he lashed out at Democratic Sen. Jason Pizzo. Bush called for “swift action” against Pizzo because he called Bush “the Governor’s little b**ch” in an Aug. 5 POLITICO article.

Bush lost his Primary to Rep.-elect Ashley Gantt.