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) was a Democratic member of the Florida State Senate, representing the 35th District. 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.[2] Nearly two months later, however, he lost in the general election on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 to Republican Pam Bondi after receiving slightly over forty-one percent of the vote.


  • Bachelor's degree, Tufts University (1982)
  • Juris Doctorate degree, University of Florida College of Law (1985)

Professional experience

Gelber has worked as attorney for Zuckerman Spaeder Law Firm and Partner for Akerman Senterfitt Law Firm. He was Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida from 1986 to 1994. He then worked as Chief Counsel for United States Senator Sam Nunn from 1994 to 1996. He also worked as a Staff Director for the United States Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation during this time.

Committee assignments

State Senator Gelber served on the following legislative committees:


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.[4] 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."[5]

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.[6] Furthermore, he argued, "he played no role in the firm's decision and didn't know about it until days afterward."[7][8] The Florida political news website, The Saint Petersblog, has noted, however, that his resignation isn't effective until early-July.[9]

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."[10]

Other roles

  • Volunteer/Former President, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami (1985-present)
  • Co-Founder/Volunteer Counselor, Camp Fiesta Summer Oncology Camp (1985-present)
  • Board of Trustees, United Way (1997-present)
  • Chair, Do the Write Thing (1998-2000)



See also: Florida Attorney General election, 2010
2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election[11]
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[12]
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[14]
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[15]
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[16]
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.[17]

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


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

Contact information

Capitol Address:
226 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100

Phone: (850) 487-5121
E-mail: gelber.dan.web@flsenate.gov


District Address:
1920 Meridian Avenue, 3rd Floor
Miami Beach, FL 33139-1818

Phone: (305) 535-5485

Campaign Address:
Dan Gelber for Attorney General
801 Arthur Godfrey Road
Suite #300
Miami Beach, FL 33140

Phone: (305) 538-8373
Fax: (888) 447-9567

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Miami New Times, "Dan Gelber Enters Attorney General Race" 8 June, 2009
  2. The Miami Herald, "Dan Gelber wins, Pam Bondi holds lead in Florida attorney general races" 25 Aug. 2010
  3. Florida State Senate - List of Standing Committees
  4. The Reid Report, "Mo’ clicks: me llamo Freddy Kreuger, the vanishing Mr. Rubio, Gelber’s BP problem **UPDATED**" 28 June, 2010
  5. Saint Petersblog 2.0 "Dave Aronberg scores major political victory as Dan Gelber resigns from law firm representing BP" 28 June, 2010
  6. Creative Loafing, "Gelber calls Aronberg camp’s criticism of his timed departure from law firm representing BP as “absurd”" 30 June, 2010
  7. Miami Herald, "Gelber says he left law firm representing BP" 30 June, 2010
  8. Sunshine State News, "Gelber says he left law firm representing BP" 30 June, 2010
  9. Saint Petersblog 2.0 "Dan Gelber says he quit law firm “last Thursday” so why is resignation letter effective in “early July?”" 30 June, 2010
  10. Saint Petersblog 2.0 "It’s just business, nothing personal: Aronberg fires again at Gelber over connection to BP, but says “he’s not angry”" 2 July, 2010
  11. Florida Department of State - 2010 Democratic Attorney General Primary Election Results
  12. Florida Department of State - 2010 Republican Attorney General Election Results
  13. Florida Department of State - 2008 State Senate Primary Election Results
  14. Florida Department of State - 2008 State Senate General Election Results
  15. Florida Department of State - 2000 State House Primary Election Results
  16. Florida Department of State - 2000 State House General Election Results
  17. Follow the Money - Campaign Contributions for Dan Gelber, 2008

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