If money determines elections, Davie Republican Merick Lewin is the leading state House candidate to represent western Broward in 2012.
Lewin, who has familial and financial ties to the 1-800-411-PAIN Referral Service, has raised far more money than his Republican and Democratic opponents in District 97. In fact, his campaign war chest of $62,360 is larger than the total raised by all four other candidates combined.
Davie Democrat Robin Behrman, a public school principal, is a distant second in the fundraising race, with just $29,233, according to campaign finance documents. Next in line is Katie Edwards, a Democrat who has raised $26,205.The only other Republican candidate, Lynnette Simon, has raised nothing at all.
Lewin is the nephew of Harley Lewin, who co-owns 411-PAIN -- a popular Broward company that refers injured car accident victims to a network of chiropractors and lawyers.
Last year, Merick Lewin served as a state lobbyist for one
of 411-PAIN's Broward clinics. Roughly one-third of his campaign donations have come from chiropractors, doctors, and medical clinics, including many clinics owned by his family.
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Despite these monetary ties, Lewin has said he does not want to be judged by his "familial relationships" and will not vote on legislation that would "give a direct financial incentive" to his family's business.
This early in the election season, it's tough to predict how significant Lewin's fundraising prowess will be. The House seat he's seeking has been held for five years by a Democrat, Marty Kiar, who is now running for state Senate.