By Team

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) –  With Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, planning to run in a special election for Congress, Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, was chosen Wednesday to serve as the next leader of Florida Senate Democrats.

Book will formally take over as Democratic leader after the November 2022 elections and serve two years in the post.

READ MORE: Lawsuit Challenges Florida's Gambling Agreement With Seminole Tribe

Thurston had been slated to become Democratic leader but announced Monday he will run in a special election to try to succeed Congressman Alcee Hastings, who died this month after a battle with cancer.

Lighthouse Point Democrat Gary Farmer is the current Senate Democratic leader. Book, who was first elected to the Senate in 2016, chairs the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee.

READ MORE: South Florida Businesses Relying On Tourism Hope To Recover From Pandemic Lows

She is the CEO of Lauren’s Kids, a nonprofit organization that works to prevent sexual abuse of children.

“For Senate Democrats to effect real and meaningful change without leaving anything on the table, we must fight for our strongly held Democratic values that benefit everyday people,” Book, whose father, Ron Book, is one of the Capitol’s most-prominent lobbyists, said in a prepared statement Wednesday.

“I believe that through effective consensus building, Senate Democrats can be powerfully pragmatic without compromising our principles, and there is no doubt the people of Florida deserve that much from their elected leaders.”

MORE NEWS: Search Resumes For Missing 19-Year-Old Miya Marcano After Person Of Interest Found Dead

(©2021 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.) Team