The crowded field of Republican candidates looking to replace outgoing Attorney General Pam Bondi (pictured) continues to entertain Floridians as positioning to take the lead in the race has caused a big scuffle between two of the contestants.
Rep. Jay Fant shot off the first volley of political attacks when he called former Hillsborough Judge Ashley Moody a Clinton-loving liberal in Republicans clothing that sued President Donald Trump. Moody brushed off the attacked as long as she could, but then had to send out a letter to the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) state committee to explain the recent Fant attacks that questioning her conservative bona fides.
Moody touted her support for the 2nd Amendment, among other right-leaning issues, saying that she was the only candidate in the field that “actually granted Stand Your Ground immunity to an individual using deadly force with a firearm to protect himself.”
Moody is the only judge or former judge running for the office, so she has a leg up on them with that claim.
Oh, and when I say “them,” I mean the entire field of candidates, Reps. Frank White, Ross Spano, who have been quietly campaigning while Fant and Moody go toe-to-toe.
Here are some excerpts of Moody’s letter to the RPOF where she not only tries to defend herself, but points to a broken campaign promise Fant appears to have made:
“A conservative Republican since college, it is astounding and disheartening to learn a fellow Republican, Jay Fant, continues to baselessly attack me. His willingness to send misleading and false information is quite different than the Jay Fant who ran for the State House in 2014. Back then, he insisted that clean campaigning in the primary is critical to our Republican Party.
In fact, he wrote and signed a pledge that said:
“I do hereby pledge to honor the legacy of President Ronald Reagan, who believed that ‘no Republican should speak ill of another.’ I sign this pledge without reservation and willingly accept the responsibility that comes with it.” –Rep.Jay Fant
“I support our President and never independently sued him. Years ago, over 50 individuals and businesses, including my family, purchased units in a condominium project which never got built. The business litigation seeking recovery of deposits was amicably resolved back in 2011. This matter had absolutely no bearing on my support for our President, and I continue to support him and his agenda in Washington.
My loving and incredible father, who taught me respect for the rule of law and the importance of faith and honesty, is a federal judge who had the backing of Republican U.S. Senator Connie Mack throughout the bipartisan nomination process, even though he was ultimately appointed by then President Clinton. Regardless of who appointed my father, as a 42-year old woman, a mom, a former federal prosecutor, and former judge, for Jay Fant to assert that I can’t have political views different than my father is offensive.”
Fant fired of a second salvo against Moody this week when Democrat Sean Shaw jumped into the Democratic primary race for Attorney General, again accusing her of being a liberal.
Ashley Moody may now have some competition for the Clinton endorsement with fellow liberal Sean Shaw entering the race! #cozywiththeclintons
— Jay Fant (@jay_fant) January 16, 2018
It would be close, but now we have to decide who has the more liberal record – Moody or Shaw? #photofinish
— Jay Fant (@jay_fant) January 16, 2018
Right now it looks as if Moody has the slight edge because of the fact that AG Bondi has supported her, but Fant, White, and Spano are no slouches. Fant has racked up some pretty good endorsements, but White could be the dark horse in this race because he leads in the fundraising department.
With just about 7 months until the primary elections, will this race get anymore contentious?
To quote former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, “You betcha!” Don’t expect Spano or White to sit not weigh in on this cage match between Fant and Moody.
Take the poll!