The Phoenix Flyer

AG candidate Ryan Torrens tossed off the ballot — for now

By: - August 24, 2018 6:06 pm
Ryan Torrens

A Leon County Circuit Judge has tossed Democratic attorney general candidate Ryan Torrens off the August 28 ballot, but Torrens has filed a notice of appeal.

In a ruling handed down late Friday afternoon, Judge Karen Gievers ruled that Torrens had improperly filled out a campaign “loan” check to qualify for the race and “should never have deposited it.”

The ruling comes just days before the August 28 primary, where Torrens, a Hillsborough County attorney, was running against Tampa House Democrat Sean Shaw for the Democratic nomination.

It appears, at least for now, that Shaw would advance to the general election Nov. 6, where he will face his Republican opponent.

“I will be a fighter for Floridians every day as Attorney General and today’s court ruling is a validation of that fact,” Shaw said in a statement shortly after Gievers’ ruling came down. “It is now time for Democrats to unite to take back Florida this fall.”

Gievers wrote in her legal opinion that “this case involved a candidate who chose to deposit an improper excess contribution in his campaign account of the qualifying week, acknowledged on Tuesday that he knew a refund would have to be provided, intentionally chose not to issue the refund, and knowingly used the illegal funds to pay the qualifying fee on Thursday of qualifying week.”

Judge Geivers also wrote that Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner shall promptly notify all 67 supervisor of elections in Florida that Torrens has been decertified as a candidate, may not be certified as the attorney general for the Democratic party, regardless of what the vote totals are on Tuesday.

The Democratic nominee will face either former Hillsborough County Judge Ashley Moody or Pensacola state Rep. Frank White in November.


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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.