As expected, State Rep. Sean Shaw (D-Tampa) announced his candidacy for attorney general in Tallahassee Tuesday.
In his brief remarks to the press, he contrasted himself with current Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican, who has earned the scorn of many Democrats for what they see as conducting her office on behalf of her party rather than on behalf of Floridians. Shaw cited her legal challenge to Obamacare, her initially having turned "a blind eye to the abuses and unethical practices of the pharmaceutical industry" as the opioid crisis took hold and, perhaps most notoriously, her aggressive legal fight against same-sex marriage in Florida.
Shaw, of course, wouldn't be running against Bondi. She's terming out and he still has an August Democratic primary to clear. Plus, whichever Republican gets the GOP's nod will likely be incredibly well-funded.
A lawyer by trade who has worked both privately and in the public sector as Insurance Consumer Advocate under former Florida CFO Alex Sink, Shaw said he has "gone toe-to-toe" against greedy corporate entities in the fight to protect consumers.
“I am declaring my candidacy for Attorney General to uphold the rule of law, keep our state safe, and to protect the rights of Floridians,” he said in an emailed statement following his remarks.
He added that, without an attorney general who goes to bat for consumers, the Florida Supreme Court has is often the last line of defense against policies that hurt Floridians, and he wants to change that.
“The citizens of our state deserve a true independent watchdog in the Attorney General’s office who will fight back when our Legislature passes unconstitutional laws and who will stand up for consumers against predatory corporations seeking to defraud or scam them," he said. "Our campaign will be about returning the power of this office back to the people - where it belongs!”
So far, Tampa lawyer Ryan Torrens is the only Democrat who has filed to run.
On the GOP side, Jay Fant, Ashley Moody, Ross Spano and Frank White — all members of the Florida House of Representatives, save for Moody, a Hillsborough County judge — are running.