|Member of the Florida Senate
from the 34th district
November 20, 2012
|Preceded by||Nan Rich|
|Member of the Florida Senate
from the 30th district
November 16, 2010 – November 20, 2012
|Preceded by||Ted Deutch|
|Succeeded by||Lizbeth Benacquisto|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 86th district
November 21, 2006 – November 16, 2010
|Preceded by||Anne M. Gannon|
|Succeeded by||Lori Berman|
March 25, 1949 |
Battle Creek, Michigan
|Children||Natasha, Marcello, Taylor|
|Alma mater||University of Maryland (B.A.)
Boston University (M.A.)
University of Miami (J.D.)
Maria Lorts Sachs (born March 25, 1949) is a Democratic member of the Florida State Senate, representing the 34th District, which stretches from Hollywood to Boynton Beach in northeastern Broward County and southeastern Palm Beach County, since 2012, previously representing the 30th District from 2010 to 2012. Before winning election to the Florida Senate, Sachs served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 86th District from 2006 to 2010.
Sachs was born in Battle Creek, Michigan and attended the University of Maryland, where she received her bachelors degree, Boston University, where she received her masters degree, and, after she moved to Florida in 1976, the University of Miami, where she received her Juris Doctor. Following her graduation from law school, she worked as an assistant state attorney in the narcotics division in Miami-Dade County and in Broward County before working for Sachs and Sax as a private practice attorney specializing in domestic, condominium, and commercial disputes. In 1994, Sachs ran for the Group 25 judicial position on the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, facing incumbent Judge Catherine M. Brunson, Curtis Levine, John Marinelli, and Brian Kimber. In the nonpartisan primary, Sachs received 21% of the vote and placed second to Brunson, who received 33%. Because Brunson did not win a majority, a runoff election was held. The election between Brunson and Sachs was called "Palm Beach County's nastiest campaign ever for a judgeship," with both candidates making personal attacks on each other throughout the race. Brunson received the endorsement of The News, which criticized Sachs for her "inactivity in recent years and overall lack of experience in the courtroom." Ultimately, Brunson beat out Sachs to retain her judgeship by a comfortable margin, receiving 56% of the vote to Sachs's 44%.
Florida House of Representatives
When incumbent State Representative Anne M. Gannon opted to run for Palm Beach County Tax Collector rather than seek re-election in 2006, Sachs ran to succeed her in the 86th District, which stretched from Boca Raton to Boynton Beach in Palm Beach County. She faced Joseph Abruzzo, former New York State Assemblyman Mark Alan Siegel, and former Maine State Representative Harriet Lerman in the Democratic primary. Sachs narrowly emerged victorious over her opponents, receiving 34% of the vote to Abruzzo's 26%, Siegel's 21%, and Lerman's 19%, and advanced to the general election, where she was unopposed. Running for re-election in 2008, Sachs was opposed by independent candidate John Sottilare. She was endorsed for re-election by the Sun-Sentinel, which praised her as a "promising" legislator who "has taken a smart approach to her job in Tallahassee" by passing good legislation. Sottilare did not pose a significant challenge to Sachs, and she was re-elected in a landslide, winning 82% of the vote.
When State Senator Ted Deutch was elected to Congress in a special election held in 2010, Sachs ran to succeed him in the 30th District, which included Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Deerfield Beach, and Wellington in eastern Palm Beach County and northeastern Broward County. She was unopposed in both the Democratic primary and the general election and won her first term entirely uncontested.
In 2012, when the state's legislative districts were redrawn in 2012, Sachs was moved into the 34th District, which contained much of the territory that she had previously represented. She faced fellow State Senator Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff in the general election, which attracted attention from both the Florida Democratic Party and the Republican Party of Florida, both of which spent millions trying to elect their candidate. During the campaign, Sachs campaigned on the fact that her victory would, in all likelihood, deny Republicans a two thirds majority in the Senate that would allow them to change the rules. During the campaign, she was attacked by Bogdanoff and Senate Republicans for reportedly being "under investigation for her finances," but the ethics commission did not conclude that an investigation was necessary. In response to the attacks, she remarked, "This is just the beginning of what they're going to throw at me and other Democrats so they can dominate the Senate." The Palm Beach Post strongly endorsed Sachs over Bogdanoff, noting that her election could "head off reckless legislation the too-powerful Republican majority has been eager to pass" and concluding that, in a number of instances, "Sachs cast a better vote." The Sun-Sentinel, however, though they observed that "either woman could do a credible job representing the district" and that Sachs has been a "moderate Democrat" with "her share of legislative accomplishments," endorsed Bogdanoff, citing her ability to work with Republican leadership. Ultimately, Sachs narrowly emerged victorious over Bogdanoff, winning 53% of the vote to Bogdanoff's 47%.
- "Lawyer Seeks Judgeship". Sun-Sentinel. June 25, 1994. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- Clark, Colin (November 9, 1994). "Brunson keeps her judgeship". The News. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- "Keep Brunson on bench". The News. November 1, 1994. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- "Re-elect Maria Sachs in Florida House District 86". Sun-Sentinel. October 20, 2008. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- Haughney, Kathleen (October 22, 2012). "Bogdanoff, Sachs state Senate race comes down to wire". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- Versteeg, Jac (October 25, 2012). "Editorial: Sachs over Bogdanoff". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- "Senate District 34: Choose Bogdanoff". Sun-Sentinel. October 12, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2014.