|Member of the Florida Senate|
from the 31st district
|Assumed office |
April 10, 2018
|Preceded by||Jeff Clemens|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives|
November 2, 2010 – April 9, 2018
|Preceded by||Maria Sachs|
|Constituency||86th district (2010–2012)|
90th district (2012-2018)
|Born||June 27, 1958|
New York City, New York
|Alma mater||Tufts University (BA)|
George Washington University Law School (JD)
University of Miami Law School (LLM)
Lori Berman (born June 27, 1958) is a Democratic member of the Florida Senate, representing parts of central Palm Beach County since being elected in an April 2018 special election. She previously served four terms in the Florida House of Representatives from 2010 until her election to the Senate.
Berman was born in New York City, New York, moved to the state of Florida in 1958, and later attended Tufts University, where she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in 1980. Afterwards, she attended the George Washington University Law School, graduating in 1983. She returned to Florida, and, years later, attended the University of Miami Law School, where she received a Master of Laws with a specialty in estate planning in 2002. While working as an attorney in South Florida, Berman became active in politics, working for the congressional campaigns of former Congressman Robert Wexler and in his congressional office.
Florida House of Representatives
When incumbent State Representative Maria Sachs opted to run for the Florida Senate rather than seek re-election, Berman ran to succeed her in the Democratic primary in the 86th District, which stretched from Hypoluxo to Boca Raton in eastern Palm Beach County. She defeated her only opponent, Carole Penny Kaye, in a landslide, receiving 79% of the vote. In the general election, Berman was unopposed and won her first term uncontested.
In 2012, when the Florida House districts were reconfigured, Berman was redistricted into the 90th District, which included most of the territory that she had previously represented. She won the nomination of her party unopposed, and in the general election, faced Republican nominee Sean Michael Kasper. The Palm Beach Post endorsed Berman for re-election, praising her for having "an impact in a GOP-dominated legislature," despite adhering "too much to liberal party doctrine." The South Florida Sun-Sentinel concurred, criticizing Kasper for "his lack of understanding...the issues facing lawmakers and the basics of...the legislative process," but endorsing Berman for her "decent record of representing county residents in Tallahassee." She ended up defeating Kasper in a landslide, receiving 68% of the vote to his 32%.
While serving in the legislature, Berman joined with fellow State Representative Janet Cruz to propose legislation that would ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in the state of Florida. Berman also sponsored legislation that would "impose background checks on all gun purchasers," but it did not pass in the 2013 legislative session.
In 2017, State Senator Jeff Clemens resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair with a lobbyist, creating a vacancy in his central Palm Beach County district. Berman ran in the special election to fill the seat, resigning her House seat the day before the general election to do so. She defeated Tami Donnally, the vice chair of the Palm Beach County Republican Party, 75 to 25%.
- Swan, Rhonda (October 21, 2012). "Editorial: Berman over Kasper in Florida House 90". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
- "State House District 90 and State Senate District 25: Choose Abruzzo, Berman". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. October 15, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
- Koff, Rochelle (April 10, 2013). "Democratic women want legislators to know: 'We're watching'". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
- Man, Anthony (May 9, 2013). "Facebook message spurs measure to aid rape victims". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
- Division of Elections. "November 8, 2016 General Election". Florida Department of State.
- Caputo, Marc; Glorioso, Alexandra; Dixon, Matt (2017-10-27). "Clemens says he's resigning from state Senate after admitting to affair with lobbyist". Politico. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
- Rosica, Jim (2017-11-22). "Lori Berman resigns from House—but not leaving till April". Florida Politics. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
- "Democrat Lori Berman elected new Florida state senator". AP. 2018-04-10. Retrieved 2018-04-10.