Make us your home page
Instagram

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 asmith@sptimes.com.

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

Loading...
  1. Plan your weekend Aug. 18-20: Elvis in concert, Jason Aldean, Monster Jam Triple Threat, Sing-Along Grease

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    The king

    Elvis: Live in Concert: This year marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, and Ruth Eckerd Hall will have a Graceland-produced Elvis concert on a movie screen, accompanied by a full live orchestra. Graceland calls it the closest audiences …

    Handout photos of Elvis: Live in Concert, a tour spectacle featuring a live orchestra backing the voice of Elvis Presley, projected onto a movie screen. The tour comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall on 8/18/17. Credit: Graceland.
  2. Woman convicted in murder of 18-year-old with cerebral palsy gets lighter term

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Linda Bonck, a 90-pound Chamberlain High School senior with cerebral palsy, lived near Tampa's Lowry Park. She struggled to walk and talk but was known for being friendly and trusting of strangers until she vanished one day in 1992.

    Georgia Miller, 39, was convicted for the 1992 murder of Linda Bonck, an 18-year-old Chamberlain High School student who had cerebral palsy. Originally sentenced to life in prison, Miller was resentenced Wednesday to 65 years, the result of U.S. and Florida Supreme Court decisions that found it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life. With gain time, Miller will be released from prison in the next six years. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  3. Boynton Beach woman arrested on DUI, child abuse charges

    Criminal

    A Boynton Beach woman was arrested Saturday and faces DUI and child abuse charges after she blew a .200 on a breath test with an unbuckled child in the backseat, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

    Brandy Lerma, 31 of Boynton Beach, was arrested on DUI and child abuse charges on Saturday. [Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Editorial: Why can't Hillsborough commissioners move Confederate monument?

    Editorials

    The violence in Charlottesville, Va., crystallized for much of the nation the danger of refusing to address painful symbols of the past. But not so in Hillsborough County, where the County Commission on Wednesday reversed itself yet again and left open the possibility of leaving a Confederate monument outside the …

  5. Former WTSP employee sues station's parent companies for gender discrimination

    Civil

    A former director at WTSP-Ch. 10 has sued the station's parent companies, claiming she was the victim of gender discrimination.