Aronberg poised to jump into race to succeed McAuliffeby John Kennedy | January 18th, 2012
Former state Sen. Dave Aronberg — a Greenacres Democrat — looks poised to become the first candidate to jump into the race to succeed outgoing Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe.
Aronberg has scheduled a West Palm Beach news conference Thursday at the county’s historic courthouse, where he expected to announce his candidacy.
“It’s an exciting time,” Aronberg told the Post. “It shows you that even when you lose a race and it looks like a door has closed, it can be a new beginning.”
Aronberg has been working as an assistant statewide prosecutorl for Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican, since December 2010. Aronberg, who earns $92,000-a-year, is based in Palm Beach County and oversees efforts to combat prescription fraud and abuse.
Aronberg, who served eight years in the Senate, lost a 2010 bid for the Democratic nomination for attorney general. While in the Senate, he had pushed for creation of the prescription drug database that is now a central part of the state’s efforts to crack down on so-called pill mills, which have proliferated across South Florida.
“No matter what job I’m in, I’m not changing my focus,” said Aronberg. “It’s always going to be about public safety and fighting prescription fraud.”
McAuliffe surprised local officials Tuesday when he announced he would not seek re-election, instead taking a job with the energy company Oxbow Carbon. Aronberg had been mulling a Democratic primary challenge to McAuliffe, but now appears set to be the first candidate running for the open seat.
Aronberg, 40, has said he had considered running for state attorney several years ago, when longtime state attorney Barry Krischer announced he would not seek another term in 2008. But by then, Krischer had positioned McAuliffe to run as his successor.
Aronberg, who earned his undergraduate and law degrees at Harvard, grew up in South Florida. He formerly worked as a special assistant in the U.S. Treasury Department and as an assistant attorney general.