Dan Gelber

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Dan Gelber
Dan Gelber.jpg
Florida State Senate District 35
Former member
In office
Dan Gelber (born November 26, 1960, in Miami Beach, Florida) is a former Democratic member of the Florida State Senate, representing District 35 from 2008 to 2010. On June 8, 2009, he announced his candidacy for the statewide office of attorney general, the seat vacated by Republican Bill McCollum, who ran for governor, in the 2010 election.[1] Gelber easily secured the Democratic nomination on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 with slightly over fifty-nine percent of the vote. Nearly two months later, however, he lost in the general election on November 2, 2010, to Republican Pam Bondi after receiving slightly over forty-one percent of the vote.


Gelber earned his B.S. from Tufts University in 1982 and his J.D. from the University of Florida in 1985. His professional experience includes working as an attorney for Zuckerman Spaeder Law Firm, Partner for Akerman Senterfitt Law Firm, Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida from 1986 to 1994, Chief Counsel for United States Senator Sam Nunn from 1994 to 1996 and Staff Director for the United States Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation.

Committee assignments

State Senator Gelber served on the following legislative committees:



See also: Florida Attorney General election, 2010
2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Dan Gelber 59.1%
     Democratic Party Dave Aronberg 40.9%
Total Votes 831,690
2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Pam Bondi 54.8%
     Democratic Party Dan Gelber 41.4%
     Independent Jim Lewis 3.8%
Total Votes 5,263,392


2008 Race for Florida State Senate, District 35 - General Election
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Dan Gelber (D) 72.4%
Dean Santoro (R) 27.6%
Total votes 140,723





2000 Race for Florida House of Representatives, District 106 - Democratic Primary
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Dan Gelber (D) 62.4%
Joseph Geller (D) 26.3%
Mitchell Kinzer (D) 11.3%
Total votes 7,488
2000 Race for Florida House of Representatives, District 106 - General Election
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Dan Gelber (D) 84.8%
Mike Calhoun (NPA) 15.2%
Total votes 33,882

Campaign donors


According to Follow the Money, Gelber raised $402,659 in 2008 for his state senatorial campaign.[2]

Listed below are the top five contributors:

Donor Amount
Florida Democratic Party $12,228
Florida Institute of CPAs $4,000
Hospital Corporation of America $4,000
Dade County Classroom Teachers Association $3,000
Florida Hospital Association $3,000


BP connection

Gelber's campaign for state attorney general was dealt a severe blow on Monday, June 28, 2010, when it was discovered that Akerman Senterfitt, the five hundred lawyer private practice based in Miami with whom the state senator has served as both partner and counsel, agreed to represent British Petroleum (BP) against disaster claims.[3] His primary opponent, jumping on the opportunity presented to him, argued that Gelber's position "would represent a major conflict of interest were he to win the Attorney General’s race — so much so that Gelber would have to recuse himself from any lawsuit his AG office would bring against BP, which hired Akerman to represent it the oil spill claims process."[4]

Shortly after the story first broke, Gelber issued a statement in which he called Aronberg's attack on him frivolous and absurd, noting that he had tenured his resignation from the firm a week before.[5] Furthermore, he argued, "he played no role in the firm's decision and didn't know about it until days afterward."[6][7] The Florida political news website, The Saint Petersblog, has noted, however, that his resignation isn't effective until early-July.[8]

In spite of his departure from Akerman Senterfitt, Aronberg continued to make the matter an issue in the primary campaign. An email sent to his supporters has Aronberg remarking that he is "not angry" at his opponent, but that "the fact remains, however, that his employment by BP’s law firm could disqualify him from representing Florida against BP as Attorney General."[9]


Gelber currently resides in Miami Beach, Florida with his wife, Joan Silverstein. The couple has three children - Sophie, Hannah, and Max.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Florida Senate - District 35
Succeeded by
Gwen Margolis