Ellyn Bogdanoff announces rematch with Sen. Maria Sachs in SD 34

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Former state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff is set for a rematch of 2012, when she faced Sen. Maria Sachs in the Democrat-leaning Florida Senate District 34.

Redistricting put Bogdanoff and Sachs, who were both in the Legislature at the time, squaring off in the same district covering Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Sachs won by six points in one of the most expensive and campaigns—the only one in that election cycle that pitted two sitting state Senator.

In an email announcement to supporters, Bogdanoff expects the match-up will be challenging, but she has decided to “continue to make things better for our community.”

After two years of “reflection,” Bogdanoff said Sen. Jack Latvala, who counts on her support for him to be Senate president in 2016, heavily lobbied her to enter the race. Both Latvala and state Sen. Joe Negron are locked in a tie — with 13 votes each — leaving Bogdanoff ‘s prospective vote to be the tiebreaker.

However, Ellyn Bogdanoff first has to win the GOP primary, with a prospective opponent — Joseph Bensmihen of Boca Raton — who happens to be close friends with Negron.

Bensmihen is the owner of a home health company, and rumored to be ready for the campaign.

Bogdanoff told reporters she would focus on issues such as jobs, the economy and criminal justice reform. As for Bensmihen, she said he had donated to her in the past, and he even volunteered for the Ellyn Bogdanoff Senate campaign at one time.

“I’m running against Maria Sachs,” she added.

Since it is not a presidential election year, this time it should be different for Ellyn Bogdanoff.

“I won’t have Obama on the top of the ticket,” Bogdanoff told the Times. “You can’t compare a presidential election race to an off-year race in terms of trying to overcome a national election and all the noise that is being made.

“It was a banner year — a Democratic sweep, everybody saw that.”

Bogdanoff would not specify any fundraising goals or provide an idea race might cost, but she expects it will be lower than in 2012, as voter turnout in midterms are traditionally lower..

Sachs has a substantial head start in fundraising, with $193,000 to date, while spending nearly $24,000, according to the moist recent campaign reports.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.