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Sean Shaw, Ashley Moody To Face Off In General Election For Attorney General

Aug 28, 2018

The race for Florida's next attorney general will be between two people from the Tampa area, a former Republican Hillsborough County judge and a Democratic state representative.

Ashley Moody won the Republican primary, defeating Pensacola state Rep. Frank White. Sean Shaw beat Ryan Torrens in the Democratic primary.

The 43-year-old Moody had the endorsement of outgoing attorney general Pam Bondi, who is unable to run due to term limits, and most of the state's law enforcement groups.

The race between Moody and White was rife with partisan infighting usually seen in higher-profile races. Both tried to position themselves as the most conservative and best suited to carry out the policies of President Trump.

The 40-year old Shaw has served in the Florida House for only two years. His father is Leander Shaw, who was the first black chief justice on the Florida Supreme Court.

Shaw was quick to make guns an issue in the campaign - a hot button topic in a state that has seen at least four mass shootings in the last two years.

He pointed out Tuesday that Moody receives "A's" from the NRA, while he consistently gets an "F" rating from the organization.

"There are too many guns and it's too easy to get them if you're a bad person and we've got to do something about that and you can't just continue to stick your head in the ground, it takes political courage to address this issue," said Shaw, who also opposes Florida's "stand your ground" laws.

Moody didn't mention guns during her victory speech Tuesday night, but pointed out why she thinks she's more qualified for the job than fellow attorney Shaw.

"I am a prosecutor, not a politician," said Moody. "I remain the only candidate running to be Florida's top prosecutor that has prosecuted a case."

The race between Shaw and Torrens was in litigation for the past month. A Leon County judge ruled on Friday that Torrens had flouted the state's campaign finance laws in order to qualify and threw him off the ballot. A state appeals court issued a stay on that ruling on Monday, allowing the race to proceed as normal.

Torrens, an attorney from Tampa who specializes in consumer protection cases, has filed a countersuit against Shaw for libel.