Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

State Sen. Dave Aronberg's bid for attorney general means the Democrats' primary will be expensive

Democratic state Sen. Dave Aronberg jumped into the race for attorney general Thursday, setting the stage for a competitive primary Democratic leaders had hoped to avoid.

"Corporations have their attorneys, and criminals have their attorneys. I will be the people's attorney," said the 38-year-old Palm Beach County Democrat. "And as your attorney general, I have one message for those who seek to commit crimes or fraud against our citizens: If you target Floridians, the state will target you."

While Aronberg had been looking at the race for months, his announcement surprised some leading Democrats who had hoped to avoid an expensive primary between Aronberg and two others eyeing the seat: former gubernatorial candidate Rod Smith, and state Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach.

"We all had been talking and all had agreed to wait a little bit to give everybody a chance to come to a thoughtful judgment, but unfortunately we're not going to be able to do that," said Gelber, 48, a former federal prosecutor, who is also expected to enter the race soon. "We seem to have an irresistible impulse for self-immolation."

Smith, 59, echoed the sentiment that Democrats would be better off avoiding a primary, but said he's still seriously looking at running.

"I like Dave Aronberg. He's a friend. But we may be candidates against one another. That's just politics," said Smith, a former state prosecutor and state senator.

A Harvard University and Harvard Law School graduate who worked about three years as an assistant attorney general for economic crimes, Aronberg was elected to the Florida Senate in 2002. He concentrated on consumer protection and public safety issues in the Legislature, representing a sprawling district stretching from West Palm Beach to Fort Myers.

Republicans do not yet have a major candidate for the office that Bill McCollum will leave to run for governor. Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp is expected to enter the race, while state Rep. Bill Galvano and Orlando lawyer and former U.S. Senate candidate Will McBride also is looking at it.

Adam C. Smith can be reached at [email protected]

State Sen. Dave Aronberg's bid for attorney general means the Democrats' primary will be expensive 06/04/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 4, 2009 11:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Bruno Mars' charisma glitters like gold at Tampa's Amalie Arena


    Nothing in this world should be as easy as Bruno Mars makes it look. Not singing, not dancing, and certainly not playfully seducing more than 17,500 starry-eyed Tampa fans with one of pop music’s best bands at your back.

    Bruno Mars performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Oct. 19, 2017.
  2. Mikhail Sergachev scores twice as Lightning shuts out Blue Jackets (w/ video)

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mikhail Sergachev said he blacked out for a few seconds after his first NHL goal Thursday night, a rocket slap shot from the point.

    Mikhail Sergachev, front, looks like he’s very in the moment with teammate Dan Girardi after scoring his first NHL goal, though he says he blacked out for a bit. He scores again in the second.
  3. Dodgers rout Cubs 11-1 to win pennant, head to World Series for first time since '88


    CHICAGO — Enrique Hernandez put a Hollywood ending on an LA story three decades in the making.

    The Dodgers celebrate their Game 5 victory Thursday night over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, putting Los Angeles in the World Series for the first time since 1988.
  4. Another suspicious death in Tampa's Seminole Heights


    TAMPA — Police were investigating what they were calling a suspicious death in southeast Seminole Heights Thursday night, near the location of two fatal shootings last week.

    Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan addresses reporters about the latest suspicious death in southeast Seminole Heights Thursday night. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL | Times]
  5. Duke tops preseason coaches' basketball poll; Gators No. 7


    Duke has been tabbed basketball's preseason No. 1 for the second straight season in the coaches' poll, released Thursday.

    Florida point guard Chris Chiozza launches the shot of last season’s NCAA Tournament, a winning 3
against Wisconsin that put the Gators into the Elite Eight. Chiozza returns to lead a UF team that’s getting its share of preseason attention, including a No. 7 ranking in the coaches’ poll.