State Senate President Joe Negron, R-Palm City, ended speculation that he would run for attorney general on Tuesday as he endorsed former Judge Ashley Moody to replace Attorney General Pam Bondi who is term limited.
Negron, who is ending his two-year stint as president of the Florida Senate after the November elections, threw his support behind Moody who also has Bondi’s support.
“The next attorney general of Florida should possess a keen legal mind, understand the rich history of Florida and protect the rights of all citizens of our state,” Negron said. “The best predictor of future success is past performance. Ashley Moody has excelled as a commercial litigator in private practice, a federal prosecutor and a state circuit court judge.
“I am enthusiastically endorsing Ashley Moody because I believe she has the background, experience and temperament to be an exceptional attorney general,” Negron added.
Moody thanked Negron and promised to “continue to uphold the law by protecting the constitution and prosecuting criminals for a stronger, safer Florida on day one.”
With the primary looming in August, Moody faces two state representatives--Jay Fant of Jacksonville and Frank White of Pensacola--in the Republican primary. After U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., announced he was retiring, state Rep. Ross Spano, R-Riverview, ended his bid to be attorney general to run for Congress. Over on the Democratic side, state Rep. Sean Shaw of Tampa faces Central Florida attorney Ryan Torrens in the primary.
After losing a special election for the Florida House in 1999, Negron bounced back in 2000 to win a House seat. He served three terms and had looked at running for attorney general in 2006 but decided instead to answer a GOP call to run for the seat Mark Foley vacated when he resigned in scandal. It was too late to get Foley's name off the printed ballots, and with some voters thinking they were voting for Foley, Negron suffered a narrow loss to Democrat Tim Mahoney, 48 percent to 50 percent. Negron rebounded in 2009 when he won a special election for a state Senate seat. After the 2016 elections, he rose to become Senate president.