For the most part, Florida's elected officials suffered through the economic downturn like the rest of us. But some fared better.
10 Richest State Senators
||Net Worth||Change from 2007|
|Don Gaetz (R)
|Jeremy Ring (D)
|J.D. Alexander (R)
|Mike Bennett (R)
|Eleanor Sobel (D)
||$6,470,599||NA/elected in 2008|
|Garrett Richter (R)
|Durell Peaden (R)
|Paula Dockery (R)||$2,874,401||-2%|
|Dennis Jones (R)
|Charles Dean (R)||$2,134,000||+10%|
Sen. Ken Pruitt (R)
Net Worth: $171,940, -62%
What Happened: When Pruitt announced in May that he was retiring from the Florida Senate, “economic considerations” were one of the key reasons for his departure, he said. The constraints of his job and the economic recession had put a damper on his finances. With three children in college, the 52-year-old said he needed to get back into the private sector to get on track financially. (He recently joined the law firm of Weiss, Handler, Angelos and Cornwell, a Boca Raton-based law firm that specializes in land use issues, as a senior adviser for governmental affairs and public policy.) Pruitt’s assets declined from $693,845 in 2008 to $384,019 in 2009; with various liabilities, his net worth was $171,940. The biggest declines in his wealth stemmed from a decrease in the value of his home in Port St. Lucie, which was worth $315,000 in 2008 but $208,000 in 2009. While he listed approximately $200,000 in IRAs and SEPs (Simplified Employee Pension individual retirement accounts) on his 2008 forms, he listed none on his most recent filings.
Sen. Evelyn Lynn (R)
District 7: Parts of Clay, Marion, Putnam and Volusia counties
Net Worth: $854,913, -28%
to $361,095. Her other assets were largely intact.
District 14: Alachua, Bradford, Gilchrist, Union and parts of Columbia, Levy, Marion, and Putnam counties
Net Worth: $884,000, -49%
What Happened: Oelrich, a former Alachua County sheriff, saw his Gainesville home decline in value from $700,000 in 2008 to $500,000 in 2009. He also recorded a large drop in the value of his FRS Retirement Funds, which were worth $800,000 in 2008 and just $250,000 on his more recent filing.
District 34: Parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties
Net Worth: $1,357,479, -18%
What Happened: The value of Rich’s Weston home declined from $951,850 in 2008 to $725,460. She also reported a significant decline in “marketable securities” — from $214,587 in 2008 to $130,632. Assets in her pension plan dropped from $58,979 last year to $42,995 on her most recent filing.
District 21: Parts of Charlotte, DeSoto, Lee, Manatee and Sarasota counties
Net Worth: $8,809,909, -45%
What Happened: Florida’s tanking real estate market dealt a blow to Bennett’s personal financial portfolio. The 64-year-old Bradenton Republican’s net worth dropped $6.8 million as a result of holdings in a variety of properties and business ventures. The value of his 23.5% share in the Ellenton Ice Sports Complex, for instance, dropped from $1.9 million to $1.1 million.