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GOP AG Candidates Back Bill McCollum's Suit Against Obama Health Care Laws

June 30, 2010 - 6:00pm

Locked in a tight race for the Republican attorney general nomination, former Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi and former Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Holly Benson won endorsements on Thursday and used the opportunity to pledge to continue Attorney General Bill McCollums lawsuit against new federal health-care laws backed by President Barack Obama. Kottkamp also picked up an endorsement and used it to stress his legal background.

Bondi announced on Thursday that her campaign had received the backing of the Associated Industries of Florida PAC who endorsed her bid over Kottkamp and Benson.

A fresh face in Florida politics, Pam Bondi is a veteran prosecutor who has the courtroom experience needed to serve as our states chief legal officer, said AIF President and CEO Barney Bishop. Ideologically and philosophically, she stands with Floridas business community and her views on how to run the attorney generals office closely align with ours.

As attorney general, know that I will focus on ensuring public safety and protecting our most vulnerable citizens, said Bondi. Additionally, as a Cabinet member, I will fight to promote our states economic well-being.

Bondi used the opportunity to highlight her conservative credentials and promised to back McCollums lawsuit over the new health care laws.

I am committed to advancing policies that encourage business growth and job creation and reject governments tendency to overregulate and stymie the free market system, said Bondi. I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Associated Industries of Florida PAC, and look forward to working with this esteemed organization on the issues affecting our state, including overturning the unconstitutional federal health care mandate.

Bondi was not the only Republican attorney general to receive an endorsement and pledge to support McCollums litigation. Bensons campaign announced its candidate was being backed by the Collier County Medical Society Political Action Committee.

The Collier County Medical Society PAC endorses Hollys candidacy for Florida attorney general, said PAC Chairman Dr. Rolando Rivera. Hollys knowledge, experience and background make her an excellent candidate for the attorney general position, and we wish her luck as she heads toward the primary election in August.

I thank the Collier County Medical Society PAC for their support of my campaign, said Benson. I have always enjoyed working with physicians to improve our health care system, and they have been valuable partners to me when I served in the House and then as secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration.

Benson used the opportunity to pledge to continue McCollums lawsuit against the federal government.

If elected, I pledge not only to continue the lawsuit against federal health care reform but also to champion tort reform, said Benson. We cannot have comprehensive health care reform without meaningful litigation reform.

Kottkamp has also backed McCollums lawsuit. "By mandating that individuals purchase health care, the government is essentially levying a 'living tax' on the citizens of this great country, said Kottkamp when McCollum launched the lawsuit. I fully support Attorney General McCollum's constitutional challenge of this legislation.

Seven former presidents of the Florida Bar endorsed Kottkamp on Thursday.

I join other past Florida Bar presidents in supporting Jeff Kottkamp for attorney general because of his dedication to the law and commitment to serving all Floridians, said Edward Blumberg, who was president of the Florida Bar from 1997-98. Lieutenant Governor Kottkamp is an attorneys attorney and because of the breadth of his legal experience is the best choice to be the states next attorney general.

Im honored to have the support from these seven past presidents, who were chosen by their peers to lead the Florida Bar because they represent the highest ethical standards for attorneys in our state, said Kottkamp. Ive prepared to be attorney general my entire career and as the next attorney general Im committed to fighting on behalf of all Floridians.

Reach Kevin Derby at or (850) 727-0859.

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