Senate Democratic Leader Laurent Book announces several key personnel changes as she seeks re-election in primary challenge from former Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharif.
At the top of this list is Christian Ulverttaking over as general consultant, and Nicholas Hessingwho will be Book’s campaign manager.
Ulvert is the founder of the South Florida-based consulting firm Peripheral communications. He worked on Democratic campaigns in the state for years and recently announced he was leaving Sen. At Annette Taddeo’s campaign for governor. He recently helped Daniella Levine Cava win the Miami-Dade County Mayor’s Race and also served as an advisor to that of Joe Biden Presidential campaign 2020.
Hessing, meanwhile, is a recent graduate from Florida State, graduating in 2020. He worked as a legislative aide for Rep. Robin Bartleman and also worked for Anfield Consulting.
Joining Ulvert and Hessing on the leadership team will be several other veterans of the Florida political scene. These include the Senior Advisor Steve Vancoreto advise Eric Johnsoncampaign adviser Stephanie Bromfieldcommunications advisor Claire Van Susterenand Michael Worley of MDW Communicationswho will work on digital and direct mail for Book’s campaign.
“I am thrilled to welcome this talented and winning team of Democratic officers committed to leading a campaign focused on issues that matter to Broward County, such as expanding access to health care, advocating for of women, protecting free speech, promoting equality, and creating an economy that works for all of us so that everyday Floridians can live their own version of the American Dream,” Book said in a statement obtained Monday by Florida Politics.
Book reached the position of Democratic leader in the Senate Last year. Such a role would normally exclude a major Primary challenge. But Sharief announced in late March that she would bid for the Senate District 35 seat.
Book, who represents the currently drawn Senate District 32, is moving home to avoid a contest against the senator-elect Rosalind Osgood in the newly drawn SD 32, developed during the state redistricting process. Instead, Book will pursue the new SD 35 seat, which covers parts of Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Weston and Southwest Ranches.
Sharief, meanwhile, ran in the special primary election for Florida’s 20th congressional district seat last year after facing term limits at the Broward County commission. Sharief lost that race and was considering another race for Congress. But the redistricting process also took it out of the CD 20 analog district. This caused it to consider a race for the Senate.
However, the bulk of the Democratic Senate delegation is already behind Book’s offer. And the recent hires will be aimed at helping Book prepare for and retain his seat and role as Democratic leader in the Senate.
Vancore, coming in as senior adviser, founded VancoreJones Communications and is a respected pollster, strategist and consultant in the state.
Vancore and Johnson, who joins as an adviser, have more than 30 years of political experience. Johnson is the founder of the Johnson Strategies consulting firm and has held positions with members of Congress, the Florida Democratic Party, and numerous state-level campaigns.
As a campaign adviser, Bromfield brings his experience in outreach to African American and Caribbean voters, a crucial part of the campaign. Sharief was Broward County’s first black female mayor and will seek to appeal to the minority community in her run.
VanSusteren has worked with Book in a communications and public relations role for several years now, serving with the senator throughout her rise to Democratic leader in the Senate.
MDW Communications of Worley won several awards to work in digital and direct mail. He and Bromfield helped push Levine Cava to the top in this 2020 mayoral contest.
Book enters his re-election effort with several big wins in the last legislative session.
Govt. Ron DeSantis has already signed two priority bills signed into law by Book. We further limit the use of physical constraints on the students. The second allows the state to buy breast milk and provide it to infants in need.
Book also scored a one year tax reduction for diaper purchases in this year’s budget. The Governor has not yet signed off on the overall budget, but has indicated his support for the line item.