Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Attorney General

Attorney General | Democrat

The race for the Democratic nomination for attorney general pits two political veterans against each other. George Sheldon and Perry Thurston agree that Republican incumbent Pam Bondi has strayed from the mission of the office: to protect civil rights and consumer interests. Both have similar views. Sheldon argues that he's the candidate with administrative experience who can work both sides of the aisle. "Knowing how that office operates, I think I would have respect from the employees in that office. I could hit the ground running," Sheldon says. Thurston dismisses Sheldon's experience in the AG's office as more than a decade old and says he's the better candidate now. "It's time to move Florida forward."

 

George Sheldon, 67

 

Retired

Perry Thurston, 53

 

House Democratic leader

Experience To run for AG, Sheldon stepped down in October from his $179,000 job as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families. He served as a Tampa state representative from 1974 to 1982 . Sheldon worked in private practice until 1999, when he was tapped by then-AG Bob Butterworth to be a deputy. From 2007 to 2010, he worked at the Florida Department of Children and Families. For the past two years, Thurston has served as the Democratic leader in the Florida House. It was under his tenure that the number of Democrats in the 120-seat chamber climbed from 39 to the current 45. He was first elected to his Fort Lauderdale district in 2006. Thurston worked as an assistant public defender in Broward County between 1988 and 1992 before moving into private practice, where he has specialized in criminal defense and public finance.
Education Florida State University, B.A., 1969; FSU College of Law, 1978 Morehouse College, B.A. in finance, 1982; University of Miami Law School, 1987
Gay Marriage Supports gay marriage. "Society has moved dramatically, and you have a responsibility to reflect that." Supports gay marriage. "We should have equal rights. It's wrong and unconstitutional to deny people their rights."
'Stand Your Ground' "At a minimum, we have to change 'stand your ground.' I would have to work with the Legislature. … I think you can get there." "I would use the office as a bully pulpit to talk about amending or repealing it."
Restoration of felon rights Favors automatic restoration of civil rights for felons, except in cases of public corruption, crimes against a child and first-degree murder. "If you paid your debt to society, getting your rights back is critical." "There's a number of rights that should automatically be restored. If someone has done their time and has paid their debt to society, they should get their rights back." Like Sheldon, he believes there are exceptions.
Medical marijuana Supports the proposed amendment legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes but says he doesn't support the complete legalization of marijuana. "Let's see how it plays out in Colorado." "It should be legal. I've sat through enough hearings of children suffering from seizures, and I'm not going to stand in the way of them getting it if they need it." He doesn't support complete legalization of marijuana, though. "I'm not ready to go that far."
Assets $125,000 in household goods; $380,000 home; $100,000 half-interest in second home; $32,696 in thrift savings plan. $45,000 in household goods; $60,000 home; $350,000 home; $6,500 in savings
Liabilities $451,581 in mortgages $132,000 in mortgages; $2,750 personal loan
Income $62,145 pensions, $14,758 in Social Security benefits, $4,800 rent $29,337 Florida House salary, $8,688 from Broward County Housing Authority
Personal Sheldon was legislative aide for future governor Reubin Askew, who was then a state senator. Sheldon was 27 when elected to the Florida House. Married with two adult children
Website georgesheldon2014.com thurstonforflorida.com
Email info@georgesheldon2014.com Through website

 

About the job: The attorney general is Florida's chief legal officer and manages the largest law firm in the state, about 430 lawyers. They deal with everything from consumer protection to Medicaid fraud. The agency also represents the state in legal matters, including appeals of inmate death sentences. The AG, as the official is informally known, is a voting member of the Florida Cabinet. Pam Bondi, a Republican, won the office in 2010. She awaits the winner of the Democratic primary. Salary: $128,972.

Florida Attorney General 08/14/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2014 5:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pope Francis presents Trump with a 'politically loaded gift': His encyclical on climate change

    Global Warming

    VATICAN CITY — On Wednesday, Pope Francis appeared to make his point with a gift.

    Ivanka Trump, first lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Wednesday.  [Evan Vucci/Pool via The New York Times]
  2. Tampa police say 41-year-old man shot and killed by ex-boss, investigation ongoing

    Crime

    TAMPA — A 41-year-old man was shot and killed by his former boss Wednesday morning outside the West Tampa auto body shop where they once worked together, according to Tampa police.

  3. Father and brother of alleged bomber detained in Libya

    World

    The father and younger brother of the man who British police say bombed an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester have been detained in Libya, where anti-terror authorities said the brother confessed to knowing "all the details" of the attack plot.

    Hashim Ramadan Abedi appears inside the Tripoli-based Special Deterrent anti-terrorism force unit after his arrest on Tuesday for alleged links to the Islamic State extremist group. Abedi is the brother of Salman Abedi, who has been identified as the man behind the bombing that killed 22 people and wounded scores at an Ariana Grande concert Monday night in Manchester. [Ahmed Bin Salman, Special Deterrent Force via AP]
  4. Marijuana extract Epidiolex helps some kids with epilepsy, study shows

    Health

    A medicine made from marijuana, without the stuff that gives a high, cut seizures in kids with a severe form of epilepsy in a study that strengthens the case for more research into pot's possible health benefits.

    An employee checks a plant at LeafLine Labs, a medical marijuana production facility in Cottage Grove, Minn. [Associated Press (2015)]
  5. CBO analysis: 23 million would lose health coverage under House-passed bill

    National

    WASHINGTON — The Republican health care bill that passed the House earlier this month would nearly double the number of Americans without health insurance over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    President Donald Trump held a press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House with members of the GOP on May 4 after the House passed legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act. [Cheriss May | Sipa USA via TNS]