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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dave Aronberg, Dan Gelber duke it out



Democratic attorney general candidates Dave Aronberg and Dan Gelber held a spirited debate before Florida Democrats this morning. There was no clear winner, each looking polished and confident. Both promised to get tough on crime, and both said Republican attorney general Bill McCollum has been asleep at the switch. In many cases their barbs were indirect.

Aronberg ("It starts with an A and ends with a G") mentioned about 1,200 times that he used to work for Bob Butterworth, and that he would be an attorney general in the Butterworth mold. Several times he said Florida deserves an attorney general who isn't eyeing another job (a jab at Gelber for initially aiming for the U.S. Senate.) He said he's beaten back Republican attacks in tough races, a way of noting that Gelber has never had a really tough race and always represented deep blue districts.

Gelber drew applause by boldly coming out against texting while driving. He talked about his ability to get things accomplished incuding convincing Charlie Crist to expand early voting in the presidential election. He touted his resume as a prosecutor, AV-rated lawyer, and U.S. Senate staffer, implying that Aronberg's resume is thin. He invoked his wife and kids, to distinguish himself from the single Aronberg. He looks much more like the grown-up compared to Aronberg. But he sounded at times like he's a total creature of Tallahassee, invoking "SB 360" without even saying what it is.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:22pm]


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