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Lauren Book, a Broward County state senator, has been elected to lead Democrats in the Florida Senate.
Book, 36, said she will fight hard for Democratic principles during her term that runs from 2022-2024.
“I believe that through effective consensus building, Senate Democrats can be powerfully pragmatic without compromising our principles, and there is no doubt the people of Florida deserve that much from their elected leaders,” the Plantation resident said in a prepared statement.
Book was selected by her Democratic peers after the previously elected Democratic leader Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, announced his decision to resign from the Florida Senate to run for the late Congressman Alcee Hastings’ open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
A survivor of childhood sexual abuse and a mother of 4-year-old twins, Book has championed legislation seeking to protect children from abuse and neglect since being elected to the state Senate in 2016. Book played a key role in shaping school-safety legislation after the Feb. 14, 2018, Parkland school shooting that killed 17 students and staff members.
She is a member of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission, a panel set up after the Parkland massacre to improve school safety.
Book’s father, Ron Book, is a Tallahassee lobbyist. His clients span from local governments, including Broward County and Fort Lauderdale, to the Geo Group, a Boca Raton-based operator of private prisons and detention centers, according to legislative records.
Republicans control the state Senate, occupying 24 of the 40 seats. Book will succeed Sen. Gary Farmer, another Broward lawmaker from Lighthouse Point.
With Naples Sen. Kathleen Passidomo in line to lead Republicans, this will be the first time the Florida Senate will be led by two women.
Skyler Swisher can be reached at email@example.com, 561-243-6634 or @SkylerSwisher.