Published On: Thu, Oct 10th, 2019

Maria is Back!

C. Ron Allen

Boca Raton, FL – A longtime familiar face in local politics is back after being on a nearly three-year hiatus.

Former state Sen. Maria Sachs, who enjoyed working in Tallahassee to address the needs of those living in the area, thinks she can do more as the District 5 representative on the Palm Beach County Commission.

The former Democratic State representative and senator is seeking to succeed term-limited Commissioner Mary Lou Berger, who has represented the areas of West Boca, West Delray and West Boynton since 2012. Sachs is the second declared candidate for the seat. She follows School Board member Karen Brill, who announced in February that she will run also as a Democrat.

The district, which includes all areas west of Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach is heavily Democratic and the winner of the primary almost certainly will win the general election.

A fired-up Sachs kicked off her candidacy recently at the South County Civic Center where some big hitters in the local Democratic party were on hand. 

The list of attendees read like a Who’s Who in South County Democratic Politics. District 5 has a litany of advocacy groups including the West Boca Community Council, Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations (COBWRA), Kings Point Democratic Club, United South County Democratic Club, Democratic Club of Greater Boynton and Boca Delray Democratic Club, all of whom were represented. 

Other notables present were longtime political architect the “Prince of Palm Beach County” Andre Fladell, Delray Beach City Commissioner Adam Frankel, Christine Lynn, Boca Raton philanthropist and chair of Boca Regional Hospital board of directors; and mental illness advocates Rita Thrasher of Boca Raton’s Promise, and Vicki Katz, CEO of the Faulk Center for Counseling.

Sachs picked up formal endorsements then from former US Rep. Ron Klein, former State Rep. Irv Slosberg, State Representatives Joe Casello, Matt Willhite and Tina Polsky, County Commissioner Robert Weinroth, and Boca Raton City Council member Constance Scott.

They praised her for her track record in Tallahassee and described her as being tenacious and a fighter on behalf of women’s issues.

Other elected officials throwing their backing behind Sachs include state Sens. Lori Berman, Emily Slosberg, Kevin Rader and Perry Thurston.

As a senator, Sachs is credited with co-authoring the texting and driving bill, supported increase labeling requirements for genetically modified foods. 

She also took a strong stance against human trafficking.

Sachs said among her priorities for the district are creating affordable housing for the county’s firefighters, teachers, and other workers. 

She also supports what she called sustainable development in the Agricultural Reserve, a 22,000-acre conservation area west of Boynton Beach and Delray Beach, which has constantly been embroiled in development battles.

Sachs reportedly has raised $71,500, including a $50,000 self-loan compared to Brill, who brought in $19,000. She loaned herself $5,000.

If Sachs’ track record is any indication, she should serve the residents quite well. 

A Mark of Respect

I would be remiss if I did not tip my hat to one of my heroes, Cokie Roberts.

Ms. Roberts, 75, who died recently from complications of breast cancer, was a true pioneer for women in journalism and was a gutsy giant in my eyes.

I recall listening to her reports from around the world and I admired her delivery style and her insightful analysis of politics and policy in Washington. As a young journalist, I relished tuning to National Public Radio’s All Things Considered on my local public radio to hear the three Musketeers: Ms. Roberts, Linda Wertheimer and Nina Totenberg.

She was indeed a trailblazing figure; a role model and mentor to young women at a time when the profession was still dominated by men.

She will be missed – and we at the Boca Raton Tribune send our condolences to her family.  

C. Ron Allen can be reached at crallen@DelrayBeachTribune.com or 561-665-0151.

  

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