By George, Sheldon is back
If somebody had tapped George Sheldon on the shoulder a few years ago and said that some day he'd be working for Charlie Crist, he might have laughed off the utter implausibility of it all. But in the topsy-turvy world of Florida politics, that's what has happened.
Sheldon, a former Tampa legislator, returned to state government Monday as assistant secretary for operations in the Department of Children and Families. This reunites Sheldon with his good friend Bob Butterworth. They worked side-by-side in the attorney general's office, and Sheldon followed Butterworth to Miami in 2003 when the ex-A.G. became dean of the St. Thomas University law school.
In his final run for public office in 2000, Sheldon ran for state education commissioner against (you guessed it) Crist. It was a nasty campaign, with Crist dredging up a then-16-year-old DUI charge against Sheldon against the advice of Jeb Bush, among others. Crist won, and Sheldon later said he had no hard feelings.
"Politics is a rough-and-tumble game," Sheldon told the Palm Beach Post last year. "He (Crist) really is basically a nice guy."