1. News
  2. /
  3. Pasco

Former judicial candidate who said ‘never trust a Muslim’ disciplined

Florida Supreme Court justices levied the punishment on retired Pasco lawyer and former judicial candidate Donald McBath.
Retired Pasco County family law attorney and once judicial candidate Don McBath was suspended by the Florida Bar for disparaging comments he made about the Muslim and LGBTQ communities on his social media accounts. [[Don McBath campaign / Twitter / Facebook]]
Retired Pasco County family law attorney and once judicial candidate Don McBath was suspended by the Florida Bar for disparaging comments he made about the Muslim and LGBTQ communities on his social media accounts. [[Don McBath campaign / Twitter / Facebook]]
Published Dec. 28, 2019

Retired Pasco County lawyer and former judicial candidate Donald McBath has been disciplined for making disparaging comments about Muslims and LGBTQ people on social media.

The Florida Supreme Court, which handles discipline against lawyers and judges, has handed McBath a 91-day suspension from practicing law for the comments, the Florida Bar announced Friday. Bar records show McBath retired from his law practice in 2018.

In a complaint, the Bar documented 15 comments the San Antonio family lawyer made on Facebook or Twitter. They included anti-Muslim remarks (“never trust a Muslim”), homophobic remarks (“Abstain, if you really have that mental illness. It’s not love”), comments against abortion, comments supportive of President Donald Trump’s travel ban (“They’re leaches on our system.”) and comments attacking “the left” and “liberals."

Related: A Tampa Bay lawyer tweets 'never trust a Muslim.' Now he wants to be a judge.

The Bar also noted his Twitter profile stated: “100% Trump supporter #MAGA; #KAG; proud DEPLORABLE; Pro-God; Christian; Pro-Life; Pro-Gun; Anti-Sharia; Constitutional Conservative; Former Major US Army.”

McBath ran for judge last year in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, which comprises Pinellas and Pasco counties. He lost in the primary to former prosecutor Doneene Loar by more than 16 points.

During his candidacy, McBath confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times the comments were his, but said they wouldn’t prevent him from treating a Muslim or LGBTQ citizen fairly if one appeared before him as a judge.

The Bar nevertheless found his comments inappropriate, asserting he violated its rules regarding professional conduct and judicial canons. McBath “failed to maintain the dignity appropriate to judicial office and act in a manner that is consistent with impartiality, integrity, and independence of the judiciary."

McBath wrote a one-word response to the Bar’s allegations.


Supreme Court justices levied the suspension and a $1,386 fine.

The lawyer already had his law license suspended for a year, Bar discipline records show, after justices found he mishandled a client’s family law case in 2016.

McBath has faced discipline in the past. He was admonished in 2014 for threatening an opposing party in a cease and desist letter. In 2007, he was suspended for 21 days for filing frivolous paperwork in a divorce case. He was publicly reprimanded in 2002 for committing trust account violations. And in 1997 he was admonished for not competently representing a client and for communicating poorly.


  1. A for sale sign is seen in front of a home in the Westchase area of Tampa. CHRIS URSO  |  Times (2013)
    And a spike in cash sales suggests investors were active in the market.
  2. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
    The driver lost control of his SUV while negotiating a curve, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
  3. A look at the construction on the Tierra Verde bridge project which is the bridge between Isla Del Sol and Tierra Verde islands on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 in St. Petersburg. The project began in December 2018 and is scheduled to be completed in summer of 2021. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Dr. Delay takes a deep dive into the construction process for the $56.3 million State Road 679 and Bayway Bridge project .
  4. A proposed bill in the Legislature would set a statewide referendum on whether to amend Florida's constitution to add a year to the period when home buyers can transfer their accumulated benefits under the Save Our Homes cap on property assessments to a new home. Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty says going from two years to three would reduce the possibility that construction delays in a booming real estate market would prevent some buyers from meeting the deadline, costing them potentially thousands 
 of dollars in property tax savings. [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN | Times (2019)]
    The bill, the idea of Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty, would give buyers another year to transfer their tax savings under Florida’s Save Our Homes assessment cap to a home they’ve...
  5. Child and family advocate Jack Levine. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
    The founder of 4Generations Institute discusses his commitment to children and families.
  6. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
    Five girls and one boy will face charges after lunchtime fights disrupted the Pasco County campus, according to the school district.
  7. Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans will become the headquarters for Medicare and pharmacy operations now that it has been acquired in a $17 billion cash and stock deal by Centene Corp., base in St. Louis. (Times files)
    New owner Centene said it “expects to maintain strong operations in Tampa,” which is anticipated to be the headquarters for its Medicare and pharmacy operations.
  8. Kurt Browning, left, is seeking a third term as superintendent of Pasco County schools. Addison Davis, right, is negotiating a contract to become Hillsborough County's next superintendent. [Tampa Bay Times (2016, 2020)]
    A Hillsborough search and Pasco election offer insights into the job and its importance.
  9. More than 44 percent of people who searched on for the Tampa Bay area from June to December were outside the region, according to a report from Apartment List. Percentages in the “Top Three Sources” box represent the share of searches coming from outside the metro area. (Apartment List map) [Apartment List]
    The region trails only Denver, Baltimore and San Diego for the percentage of people from outside the area searching for apartments on Apartment List.
  10. The New Port Richey Community Redevelopment Agency agreed to a deal that will bring a Keiser University campus to the city's gateway. [New Port Richey]
    The city agreed to buy properties at U.S. 19 and Main Street. A developer will build a new Keiser University campus and possibly a hotel.