Lakeland Ledger: The Ledger Recommends - Attorney General: Dan Gelber

Oct 26, 2010

Editorial Board

The Lakeland Ledger


Florida's attorney general isn't a prosecutor, but the Republican and Democratic candidates for the job both tout their prosecutorial experience as a major qualification. Prosecutorial experience isn't to be sneezed at, but it's also not a job prerequisite.

The main way the Attorney General's Office gets involved in criminal cases is by representing the state on criminal appeals and in civil cases.

Florida's current attorney general, Bill McCollum, recently filed a federal lawsuit aimed at invalidating the new health care law passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama.

The two candidates to succeed McCollum (who left to run for governor) are Republican Pam Bondi of Tampa and Democrat Dan Gelber of Miami Beach. They take starkly opposing views on the health care lawsuit. Bondi says she would continue to pursue it, while Gelber wants to dismiss it. We agree with Gelber that it is a waste of the state's limited resources.

In terms of experience, Gelber's is much broader than his opponent's. Gelber was a federal prosecutor in South Florida for nearly 10 years, was chief counsel and staff director to the Senate Permanent Committee on Investigations, under Sam Nunn of Georgia, and has spent 10 years in the Florida Legislature. Widely respected by members of both parties, he served as state House minority leader and is a state senator.

Bondi has been an assistant state attorney in Hillsborough County for the bulk of her career, prosecuting some cases but serving primarily as spokeswoman for the office for the past several years. She also is listed as a Fox News analyst for the cable network. This is her first try for elective office. Oddly, she has avoided unscripted television interviews and all but one joint TV appearance with Gelber.

The Ledger recommends Dan Gelber, Attorney General.




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Political advertisement paid for and approved by Dan Gelber.