This district extends west from the ocean in Hollywood Beach to the Everglades, covering Plantation, Miramar, Davie, Cooper City and other communities in Broward County. It is a largely Democratic district that has been represented since 2008 by Sen. Eleanor Sobel, 66, who deserves to keep her seat.
Sen. Sobel is well known to the voters in Broward. Before her service in the Senate, she was on the School Board and the Hollywood City Commission, where she served as vice-mayor from 1992 to 1998. She also served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1998 to 2006.
Her challenger is Juan A. Selaya, 77, a real-estate broker and commissioner on the Broward County Housing Authority. He unsuccessfully sought a seat in the Florida House in 2006. Mr. Selaya has extensive knowledge of the housing market and its problems, but Sen. Sobel is better versed on the wide variety of issues confronting the state.
A veteran legislator on health-policy issues, she has fought for increased funding for vulnerable citizens. She told the Editorial Board that Gov. Scott was wrong to refuse funds to expand Medicaid from the federal government, saying “Florida is sticking its head in the sand” by refusing to acknowledge that it was a problem with poor people needing basic healthcare. Mr. Selaya said the Legislature should make the call on whether to take the funds, but would not commit himself on Mr. Scott’s action.
Sen. Sobel has been a champion for those who advocate improved hurricane-insurance coverage from the state-backed public company, Citizens, saying she has consistently opposed its rate-increase proposals. “Citizens is not working as it should,” she said. Amen to that. It’s an issue of utmost importance for homeowners in South Florida and it’s critical to have a voice in Tallahassee that understands the problem from the point of view of consumers.
The two candidates also differ markedly on another important issue: splitting the state Supreme Court into criminal and civil branches. She’s against, he’s for. We believe she’s right.
For state Senate District 33, The Miami Herald recommends ELEANOR SOBEL.