Florida’s AG race will pit two 40 somethings from Hillsborough County

By: - August 28, 2018 9:42 pm

In one of the most contentious statewide primary races in Florida, former Hillsborough County Circuit Court Judge Ashley Moody soundly defeated Pensacola House Rep. Frank White in the Republican race for Florida’s attorney general.

Moody will face Tampa State Rep. Sean Shaw, son of the late Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Leander Shaw, in November’s general election.

Both are 40-somethings, but they have divergent views on everything from the controversial Stand Your Ground law to allowing ex-felons to vote.

Moody is the daughter of U.S. District Court Judge James Moody Jr.  She defeated White by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent.

Her opponent had emphasized that he was the more conservative candidate in the Republican AG race, exaggerating how long Moody had previously been a Democrat (she had been one in her early 20’s and voted for Democrat Bill McBride for governor in 2002).

Moody ended up responding to him by running a television ad featuring a group of county sheriffs showing their support, with one of them proclaiming White  a “car salesman turned politician.” (White is a corporate attorney for a car dealership).

As to the Democratic primary, Shaw coasted to victory over attorney Ryan Torrens, by 73 percent to 27 percent.

The Democratic race had been relatively low-key until the past few weeks, after Shaw sued to have Torrens thrown off the ballot. Shaw alleged that his opponent used an illegal campaign contribution to qualify to get on the ballot.

Last Friday afternoon, a circuit court in Tallahassee agreed with Shaw and tossed Torrens off the ballot, but an appeal court put him back into the race on Monday.

The Republican Attorneys General Association has been attacking Shaw as too liberal for months, and they didn’t relent on Tuesday night, calling him “dangerous and radical” and accusing him of “siding with cop killers and wants to give convicted felons the right to vote.”



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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.