Thurston to challenge Bondi, setting up Democratic primary contestby John Kennedy | October 26th, 2013
House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston said Saturday that he will run for Attorney General next year, becoming the second prominent Democrat to step forward and challenge Republican Pam Bondi.
“I have a proven record of raising money and winning races,” Thurston said at the Florida Democratic conference, meeting this weekend at Disney World.
Already in the race is Democrat George Sheldon, a former Department of Children & Families secretary who most recently was in Washington, D.C., as an assistant secretary of the Health and Human Services Department. Sheldon announced his candidacy on Monday.
Thurston, however, said he is undaunted by a potential primary. “The race is on,” said Thurston, who was first elected to the state House in 2006.
Still, the Fort Lauderdale Democrat directed heat more at Bondi, who is seeking her second term. She gained national prominence for leading the legal assault by two dozen states that unsuccessfully sought to have the Affordable Care Act ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Floridians need someone as attorney general who is not just going to be playing partisan political games,” Thurston said.
Bondi recently came under fire for rescheduling a planned execution last month because it conflicted with a fund-raiser heralding the kickoff of her re-election campaign.
Bondi later said she was wrong to have sought the rescheduling of convicted killer Marshall Lee Gore’s execution, which was carried out almost three weeks later.
But Bondi’s campaign said the incumbent is ready for the Democratic challenge. She has already raised more than $400,000 for her campaign and has received another $220,000 from the Florida Republican Party for rent, staff, travel and other costs, state records show.