UPDATE: Democrat Butterworth endorses Republican Atwater for CFO…in the primaryby Dara Kam | January 12th, 2010
Bob Butterworth, a Florida Democratic icon who served as attorney general, is backing Senate President Jeff Atwater’s statewide campaign for chief financial officer.
Atwater’s campaign sent out a press release about Butterworth and other Democratic supporters today, the same day Democrat Loranne Ausley, a former state representative, announced her candidacy.
Butterworth said there may have been some confusion about his endorsement of Atwater. When he wrote a $500 check to the campaign three months ago, Butterworth said, there wasn’t a Democrat in the race and he didn’t specify that it was for the primary.
“I probably should have been clearer with the aide. I don’t blame the campaign,” Butterworth said.
Back in 2002, Atwater, a relative unknown at the time, trounced Butterworth, then on the Cabinet as attorney general, in the election for Senate District 25.
Atwater, a North Palm Beach Republican, also nailed down endorsements from three other Democrats today – James Harold Thompson, Lee Moffitt and Hyatt Brown, all former House Speakers. Moffitt and Thompson are now lobbyists.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, also a Democrat, is also supporting Atwater.
Butterworth’s latest endeavor places him as the fix-it man for Florida Power & Light Co. The Juno Beach-based utility hired Butterworth to try to repair its image in the wake of reports that company executives, their wives and guests flew on the customer dime on corporate jets. The revelations about the flights and other corporate spending came out as FPL seeks a $1.2 billion rate hike that will be decided on tomorrow.
Atwater’s campaign issued a press release about the Democratic supporters the same day former state Rep. Loranne Ausley, a Tallahassee Democrat, announced she is jumping in the race.