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Florida GOP Leaders Taking Sides in AG Primary

October 10, 2017 - 8:45am
Jay Fant and Ashley Moody
Jay Fant and Ashley Moody

The Republican primary to replace term limited Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is starting to heat up as GOP leaders across the Sunshine State take sides. 

State Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Jacksonville, has thrown his support to a fellow First Coast Republican in the race to replace Bondi. Bean announced on Monday that he was backing state Rep. Jay Fant, R-Fla., over Ashley Moody, a former judge based in Hillsborough County, for the Republican nomination. 

"Senator Bean has been a longtime voice for conservative politics in Northeast Florida. His endorsement is one to be very proud of," Fant said. “We look forward to working with Senator Bean on our conservative platform for years to come."

But Moody has reeled in some major endorsements of her own. So far in October, Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson, state Rep. Clay Ingram, R-Pensacola, and state Rep. Jay Trumbull, R-Panama City, threw their support behind Moody. 

“Northwest Florida has a long history of accomplished leaders in the Florida Legislature and that legacy continues on in the conservative leadership of Representative Ingram and Representative Trumbull,” Moody noted on Thursday when those two legislators endorsed her. “They’ve led on tough issues and been true advocates for their districts. To have their support means so much to our campaign, and to me personally.”

In the meantime, Fant is playing catchup in the money chase. Florida Politics reported on Monday that Moody has now raised more than $1 million for her campaign. At the end of last week, Florida Politics reported that Fant has personally loaned his campaign $750,000 and has raised $179,000 from contributors.  

On the Democratic side, Ryan Torrens, an attorney based out of Odessa, unveiled an endorsement of his own last week as state Sen. Victor Torres, D-Kissimmee, backed him. 

“Floridians in District 15 and all across our state need an attorney general who will fight hard for everyday Floridians, and there is no candidate better for the job than Ryan,” Torres said. “Ryan has a proven track record of fighting in court on behalf of Florida’s consumers, and I know he will do this on a statewide basis as our next attorney general.

“As a veteran of the US Marines and life-long public servant fighting for working class families in Florida, I proudly support Ryan Torrens as our new attorney general in Tallahassee,” Torres added.

“Senator Torres has fought for this country and his community his entire life. I am humbled by his endorsement of our campaign to fight for all Floridians,” Torrens said. “Florida’s hardworking consumers have been getting the short end of the stick for too long. Tallahassee is flush with special interest money and our people are desperate for an attorney general who will be a champion for them. I will be proud to fight with Senator Torres for a fair Florida where our laws are equally enforced.”



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