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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

A last minute challenge



Just a month ago, former U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum looked like he was going to have to fight a four-way primary for attorney general and Democrat state Sen. Skip Campbell would be unopposed.

My, how the tables have turned.

McCollum first bullied out the GOP crowd with a huge name ID, and just today, a second south Florida Democrat announced she was joining the AG's race. Merrilee Ehrlich, who had already donated $200 to Campbell, said Democrats deserve a choice in the September primary.

It might seem like a long shot, but being a female candidate from south Florida could make her a threat to Campbell in a down-ballot race.

"Mr. Campbell doesn’t have any more statewide exposure than I do," she said from Tallahassee Friday afternoon.

UPDATE: For all the conspiracy theorists out there -- Campbell would have been able to raise money for a primary and general election regardless if he had a primary opponent, says Florida Department of State spokeswoman Jenny Nash. Florida election law is not candidate/circumstance specific.

-- Aaron Sharockman

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:08pm]


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