The Republican field to become Florida’s next Attorney General just got a little bigger.
On Thursday, a fourth GOP candidate -- state Rep. Ross Spano, R-Dover -- entered into the race for the Cabinet seat.
Spano joins an already crowded race for the nomination and two of the candidates -- Reps. Jay Fant and Frank White -- are already his colleagues in the Florida House.
Another candidate -- former Tampa Bay judge Ashley Moody -- has also filed to run for the position to replace Pam Bondi, who is term-limited next year.
Despite facing several opponents, Spano said he wasn’t worried about the competition.
“If I felt like the right person was in the race to be the attorney general of the state of Florida, you can trust me, I wouldn’t be running,” Spano said. “I’m the only person among the three that are in the race right now that has these following things: the legislative experience; the conservative values; and the actual courtroom experience. I’ve been practicing law for 19 years. I’ve been in the courtroom for that time.”
Spano, an attorney, manages his own law firm which has two locations in Riverview and in Dunedin. He attended the University of Florida and later attended Florida State University, where he received his law degree.
Spano has been licensed to practice law in Florida since 1998.
The Tampa Bay Republican has represented Florida’s 59th district, which includes parts of Hillsborough County, since 2012. He handily won his reelection bid for the seat last year.
Spano enters the race a few million dollars and many endorsements behind his opponents. He currently has $7,000 in his Pledge This Day political committee and another $55,000 in his personal campaign account.
According to the latest campaign finance reports, Spano has a lot of work to do to catch up financially.
Rep. White is leading the pack in the AG race, with nearly $1.74 million in the bank. White also has about $30,000 in his United Conservatives committee.
Last month, Moody raised $43,000 through her Friends of Ashley Moody political committee. Moody’s committee only spent $507 in October, leaving her with $207,000 cash on hand.
Fant raised no money through his political committee, Pledge This Day, in October, but spent nearly $17,000 last month, sending his committee into the red last month. Fant ended last month with $37,000 cash on hand.
Despite being behind in the money chase, Spano remained hopeful about his prospects.
"I'm confident that people will support me because of what I bring to the table," Spano said. "I'm confident we'll have what we need to be successful. I don't come from a wealthy family and I'm not a millionaire, but I don't think I should be ruled out from running because of that."