Sheldon challenging Bondi for Attorney General on “character” issueby John Kennedy | October 21st, 2013
A former top deputy under Bob Butterworth, Florida’s last Democratic attorney general, announced Monday that he will challenge Republican Pam Bondi next year.
George Sheldon, who recently stepped down as an assistant secretary in the Obama administrations’ Health and Human Services Dept., said he plans to return “character” to the attorney general’s office.
“Taking on predatory lenders, human traffickers, and those who engage in deceptive practices is the job of the Attorney General…not working full time trying to deny health insurance to children and anyone with preexisting conditions,” Sheldon said.
“This race is about character. Who has the experience and character to use the office of attorney general for general good rather than as a personal, political, partisan platform,” he added.
Bondi spearheaded the lawsuit brought by two-dozen states unsuccessfully seeking to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. She also recently caught heat for rescheduling a planned execution because it conflicted with a fund-raiser heralding the kickoff of her re-election campaign.
Sheldon served as Florida’s Department of Children & Families secretary under then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist. Crist, now a Democrat, is likely to run for governor and share next year’s ballot with Sheldon.
Sheldon earlier was deputy attorney general under Butterworth and is a former state representative. He sought the nomination for attorney general in 2002, finishing third behind current Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. Dyer lost to Crist that year.
Bondi’s campaign said the incumbent was ready for the challenge.
“As Florida’s Attorney General, Pam Bondi has fought hard to defend and protect the people by making Florida a zero tolerance state for pill mills, taking on human trafficking, and pursuing consumer relief from both, mortgage and Medicaid fraud, ” said Pablo Diaz, Bondi’s campaign manager.
“Pam Bondi and George Sheldon have very different credentials and points of view, and we welcome the opportunity to show the voters in Florida that they will have a clear choice between two distinctly different candidates.,” he added.