Senate 25 and 27 Candidate Biographies
DISTRICT 27 CANDIDATES
Lizbeth Benacquisto has been a Florida resident for over 30 years, living in Wellington
for the past 15. She attended the University of Florida and Penn State University, and
she graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University with her Bachelor of Arts degree in
Organizational Management. Lizbeth and her family currently reside in Wellington. She
is a Realtor and mother of two school-age children and a college-age step-son.
Lizbeth was first elected Wellington Councilwoman in 2002 to represent the Village of
Wellington, and was re-elected through the conclusion of her term in 2010. She served
as vice-mayor for two years. Ms. Benaquisto has served the community as a member of
the American Council of Young Political leaders and was chosen and served as a
delegate to South Africa in 2004. She has served as member of Early Learning Coalition
of Palm Beach County, the Florida League of Cities municipal loan council, and as a
member of the Western Communities Council of Palm Beach County. She is currently a
member of the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the National League of Cities
Council on Youth Education and Families.
Mike Lameyer served in the United States Marine Corps for 4 years, saw difficult
combat in Vietnam, and received an honorable discharge as Sergeant E5. He earned a
bachelors degree, as well as his Commercial Pilot License along with a Flight Instructor
Certification. Mike was employed as a Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor. After a
downturn in the airline industry, Mike became the Director of Corporate Development for
International Science and Technology, which specialized in the development of hard
goods technology products. He also received several world-wide and US patents.
Mike married Karen a Palm Beach County School teacher. They have been married for
twenty-nine years and have four children. Mike, as a certified bowling coach, has
coached adults, children and Special Olympics. He is also a certified firearms instructor,
a published author and on the James Madison Institute’s Palm Beach Board of Advisors.
The Institute is a Florida-based research and educational organization rooted in a belief
in the U.S. Constitution. Mike states that he has the experience “necessary to insure Job
growth in Florida along with protecting our rights from an ever-intrusive Federal
Sharon J. Merchant is a fifth-generation Floridian. Born in West Palm Beach, she
received a B.S. in International Affairs from Florida State University. While attending
FSU she served as legislative assistant to Rep. Marian Lewis from 1987 until 1992,
when she was elected to succeed Marian. Merchant served four consecutive terms as
District 83 Representative. When House Republicans earned a majority in 1996,
Representative Merchant became part of the legislative leadership. She was the Chair of
the Appropriations Committee on Transportation and Economic Development, and later
chaired the Juvenile Justice Committee. Other committees on which she served included
Utility and Telecommunications, Community College and Career Prep, Regulated
Services, and Water & Resource Management.
Domestic Violence continues to be a priority for Merchant. Sharon hosted an annual
conference/seminar for several years, with all proceeds going to domestic violence
shelters. Merchant has homes in both Palm Beach and Lee Counties. She is married to
Dan Turner. They have one son, Max Turner. Sharon is Vice President of Equipment
Rental Service, Inc., a family-owned business.
DISTRICT 25 CANDIDATES
Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff a native Floridian, graduated from the University of Florida with
a degree in Insurance and Risk Management in 1980. She began her career as a
shareholder in Setnor Byer Bogdanoff, Inc., an independent insurance agency, and also
wrote as a columnist for a national insurance industry magazine. She established EBS
Consulting in 1997, a government and corporate consulting firm. Ellyn received her law
degree from Nova Southeastern University in 2003, graduating magna cum laude. She
is a practicing attorney, certified mediator and arbitrator in Fort Lauderdale
Ellyn was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in a Special Election in 2004.
She was the Majority Whip for the 2006-2008 term and is chair of the House Finance
and Tax Council. Ms. Bogdanoff has received several honors and awards for her
legislative advocacy and her commitment to education and children’s issues including
the “Rising Star” award from the Probate and Real Property Section of the Florida Bar,
legislator of the year by the Florida Association of Realtors in 2006 and the Florida
Dental Association in 2008. She was recognized by the Broward Partnership for the
Homeless and was also honored by Florida’s Children First, Covenant House Florida,
and the Florida Association of School Administrators. She was a foster parent and is
currently serving as a Guardian ad litem. She and her husband, Steven, have their three
children. Ellyn is also competitive tennis player when she finds spare time.
Carl Domino has lived in FL since 1958. He has a BS in Accounting from Florida State
University and a Harvard MBA. He served in the US Navy, in Vietnam and retired as a
Commander in the U.S.Naval Reserve in1989. Carl worked for Delaware Investment
Advisors as a chartered Financial Analyst and Senior Portfolio Manager. In 1987 he
founded Carl Domino Associates, now known as Northern Trust Value Investors and
Carl became the President and Chief Investment Officer. He is President of Carl
Domino, Inc., a wealth management and investment advisory firm, since 1987. He is a
member of several local and national business groups and is a regular commentator for
media outlets on financial markets.
In 2002 Carl was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, and he is currently
serving his fourth term. He was Majority Whip from 2004-2006 and Chair of the Palm
Beach County Delegation from 2005-2006. He serves on the Joint Legislative Auditing
Committee as Alternating Chair, the Committee on Audit & Performance as Vice Chair,
and the Committee on Insurance and the Government Efficiency & Accountability
Council. Mr. Domino is also very active in the community through the American Cancer
Society board of directors, Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, Easter Seals
Golf Tournament, the Palm Beach Economic Council, Florida State University Boosters,
Florida State University Foundation, the West Palm Beach Kiwanis Club and the Knights
of Columbus. Carl, his wife, Sharon, and their two children live in Jupiter.