Gelber represented the 106th district in the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008, also serving as House Minority Leader in his last term. He then served in the Florida Senate, representing the 35th district from 2008 to 2010. He ran for Attorney General of Florida in 2010, losing the general election to Republican Pam Bondi. In 2012, he co-founded the law firm of Gelber Schachter & Greenberg, P.A. along with Adam Schachter and Gerald Greenberg. The firm handles complex civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense cases in Florida and across the country.
Dan Gelber grew up in Miami Beach, Florida and is a graduate of Miami Beach Senior High School. Gelber has a BA from Tufts University and a Juris Doctorate from University of Florida College of Law where he was a Harry S. Truman Scholar. When he was 24, he co-founded a summer camp for children with cancer where he volunteers every summer as a bunk counselor and provides support services for patients and their families. Gelber has been a Big Brother volunteer since 1985, and is a former President of the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Organization.
Currently Dan lives in Miami with his wife, Joan Silverstein, a federal prosecutor, and their three children: Sophie, Hannah, and Max.
Gelber's career in public service started at the age of twenty-five, when he was appointed as one of the youngest federal prosecutors in the nation. After nearly a decade prosecuting public corruption and civil rights cases, Gelber was selected by United States Senator Sam Nunn to be Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations where he directed U.S. Senate investigations into global terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
Gelber was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2000 from District 106. As a member of the Florida Legislature, Gelber frequently sparred with former Governor Jeb Bush. The Wall Street Journal referred to Gelber as Bush's "chief nemesis." Nevertheless, Gelber earned the respect of the former Governor, who once told the St. Petersburg Times that Gelber "would be a very well qualified Governor."
In 2005, Gelber took charge of the Florida House Democratic Caucus' political operation. Under his leadership, despite the Democrats losing the Governor's mansion, state house Democrats have picked up nine Republican seats, their first net gain in the lower chamber in sixteen years, his party's best ever showing in a single cycle, and the fifth best overall gain in the nation.
In 2008, Gelber was elected to the Florida Senate from the 35th District.
Gelber has worked to increase fairness in the Florida tax code. In 2009, Gelber sponsored and helped pass a bill that closed a real estate loophole that allowed high end developers to evade taxes. He also worked to stop multistate corporations from avoiding Florida taxes.
Gelber is critical of recent budget cuts that leave Florida last in per student spending. He has fought spending cuts to the state university system. He is also a vocal critic of the FCAT, believing that "[y]ou shouldn't have a school system where the ceiling is the floor."
Drawing on his experience prosecuting corruption as a US Attorney, Gelber has been active in cleaning up government. Sen. Gelber sponsored a bill that provides criminal penalties for official misconduct, criminal misuse of official position and bid tampering. This bill passed in HB 847 and was signed into law.
On June 8, 2009, Gelber announced his candidacy for Florida Attorney General. Reminiscent of Senator Bob Graham's Workdays, Gelber performed community service across Florida, which included serving meals to the homeless, cleaning up the Wekiva River, and joining elementary school students in writing letters to veterans.
Gelber soundly won the August 24, 2010 primary election, defeating his Democratic opponent fellow state senator Dave Aronberg by 18 points. His campaign has been endorsed by many top public servants, including Republican state senator J. Alex Villalobos, former United States Attorney General Janet Reno, former Florida Education Secretary Betty Castor, former Congressman Jim Davis, Congresswoman and DNC Vice Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, as well as the Florida Police Benevolent Association, the state's largest law enforcement organization.
Ultimately, Gelber lost the election to the Republican candidate, Pam Bondi.
Committee MembershipCommerce, Vice Chair
Higher Education Appropriations, Vice Chair
Policy and Steering Committee on Social Responsibility
Policy and Steering Committee on Ways and Means
Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities
Select Committee on Florida's Economy
Joint Committee on Public Counsel Oversight