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Candidates square off in state attorney, PD races.

Floridians appear generally satisfied with their current state attorneys and public defenders, according to campaign filing records from the Department of State Division of Elections.

When filing for 19 circuits closed on May 6, 12 state attorneys--including one newcomer--had been elected without opposition. Fourteen public defenders--including two newcomers--were also unopposed.

The Fourth and 16th circuits have the distinction of hosting contested races for both offices.

(State attorney and public defender elections for the First through the 19th circuits are held in presidential election years; elections for those offices in the 20th Circuit are held during non-presidential general election years.)

Here are the contested state attorney races:

* In the Second Circuit, Democrats Jack Campbell and Sean T. Desmond will meet in the primary with the winner taking on Republican Pete Williams in November to replace retiring State Attorney Willie Meggs.

* In the Fourth Circuit, incumbent Republican Angela Corey is facing a primary challenge from Melissa Nelson and Wes White. Daniel Kenneth Leigh has also qualified as a write-in candidate.

* In the Ninth Circuit, incumbent Democrat Jeffrey L. Ashton is being challenged in the primary by Aramis Ayala. William Vose has also filed as a write-in candidate.

* In the 13th Circuit, incumbent Republican Mark Ober is facing Democrat Andrew Warren.

* In the 14th Circuit, incumbent Republican Glenn Hess is facing a primary challenge from Greg Wilson.

* In the 16th Circuit, incumbent Democrat Catherine Vogel is running against Libertarian Shad Neiss and Republican Dennis W. Ward.

* In the 17th Circuit, incumbent Democrat Mike Satz is being challenged by Teresa Elizabeth Williams in the primary.

Here are the contested public defender races:

* In the Fourth Circuit, incumbent Republican Matt Shirk is being challenged in the primary by Charlie Cofer. Roland Falcon has filed as a write-in candidate.

* In the 10th Circuit, incumbent Republican Rex Dimmig is facing Democrat Flora "Tonya" Stewart.

* In the 15th Circuit, incumbent Democrat Carey Haughwout has a primary challenge from William S. "Bill" Abramson.

* In the 16th Circuit, Democrat Trish Docherty Gibson is running against Republican Robert Lockwood to replace Rosemary Enright.

* In the 19th Circuit, Thomas F. Burns has challenged incumbent Republican Diamond R. Litty in the primary.

The state attorney contests in the 14th and 17th circuits and the public defender races in the 15th and 19th circuits present a fairly rare occurrence in Florida politics. Since all four races involve only a primary contest and no write-in, no-party-affiliated, or members of any other party filed, all voters regardless of party affiliation will be able to vote in those primaries.

Here are the state attorneys elected without opposition: William E. Eddins in the First Circuit, Jeff Siegmeister in the Third Circuit, Brad King in the Fifth Circuit, Bernie McCabe in the Sixth Circuit, R.J. Larizza in the Seventh Circuit, Bill Cervone in the Eighth Circuit, Brian Haas in the 10th Circuit, Katherine Fernandez Rundle in the 11th Circuit, Ed Brodsky in the 12th Circuit, Dave Aronberg in the 15th Circuit, Phil Archer in the 18th Circuit, and Bruce Colton in the 19th Circuit. All but Haas are incumbents.

Public defenders elected without opposition are: Bruce A. Miller in the First Circuit, Andy Thomas in the Second Circuit, M. Blair Payne in the Third Circuit, Mike Graves in the Fifth Circuit, Bob Dillinger in the Sixth Circuit, James S. Purdy in the Seventh Circuit, Stacy A. Scott in the Eighth Circuit, Bob Wesley in the Ninth Circuit, Carlos J. Martinez in the 11th Circuit, Larry Louis Eger in the 12th Circuit, Julianne M. Holt in the 13th Circuit, Henry Mark Sims in the 14th Circuit, Howard Finkelstein in the 17th Circuit, and Blaise Trettis in the 18th Circuit. Thomas and Sims are non-incumbents.

Balloting in the primaries will be on August 30 and the general election will be on November 8.
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Publication:Florida Bar News
Date:Jun 1, 2016
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