Ds in Self-Destructive Primary For Atty General




Realizing they have very little hope of beating Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, some Democrats have hit on a good strategy.

They have encouraged House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston Jr. of Plantation to run.

If Thurston makes it to the November ballot, he can help the Democratic ticket.

He’s black and should help to increase participation by black voters.

But before he gets to the General Election, Thurston faces a destructive primary from aging Democrat George Sheldon from the Tampa Bay area.

A primary between Sheldon and Thurston is self-destructive. It wastes Democratic money.  Worse, Sheldon has a chance of winning, beating Thurston, who could help all Democrats on the ballot.

Sheldon, 66, was a member of the Democratic insiders in the Florida House when Democrats counted – the late 1970s and early 1980s. Since then he has held a bunch of government jobs, such as Deputy Attorney General under Bob Butterworth. 

He served in the Legislature with Bob Graham before Graham was governor.   He also served such fabled Broward lawmakers as former Speaker of the House Tom Gustafson, state Reps. (later senator) Tom McPherson,  (later senator) Van Poole, Walt “Mr. Education” Young and the late Linda Cox.

When I went to cover the Legislature in 1978, Sheldon had already been there four years.  You can see the others he served with on the cover of my old Clerk’s Manual below.

In 2002, Sheldon ran for Attorney General the first time. He lost the primary to Buddy Dyer, who lost the General Election and went on to become Orlando’s mayor.

What’s different 12 years later?

Nothing, except Sheldon is older and Pam Bondi is almost surely unbeatable.



Pam Bondi


Just look at the support she has measured in dollars.

Bondi had $421,576 in cash and $279,690 in in-kind contributions as of October 31.  Sheldon had $5,731.

Thurston opened his campaign in November so he didn’t file yet.

(As an aside, Bondi spent only $5,462 so far.  That’s a lesson that should be learned by many local candidates.)

Sheldon’s candidacy points up the major problem Florida Democrats have.  They keep reaching back to the Golden Age of their party for candidates, while Republicans build a cadre of younger hopefuls.  There is not only Bondi, who is 48, but also Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam, 39,  and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, 55.

Bondi, Putnam and Atwater are serious candidates for governor in 2018.

It’s time Democrats have some new statewide faces. Sheldon should move out the way for Thurston.

Sheldon’s candidacy helps no one because he most likely can’t win.

Thurston can’t win either.  But his candidacy can help the probable Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist by encouraging blacks to vote.

I know about the residency accusations against Thurston.  He allegedly doesn’t live in his district.  That’s not going to cost Thurston votes when it counts– in the General Election.

It’s a political no brainer.

Democrats who want to beat Gov. Scott first need to nominate Thurston.



George Sheldon’s greatest era was a long time ago.  


10 Responses to “Ds in Self-Destructive Primary For Atty General”

  1. Kevin Hill says:

    Buddy, why do you think Pam Bondi is unbeatable?

    I would agree that there’s a high probability she will be re-elected, just given the amount of $$$ she will raise.

    But unbeatable?


    I believe I wrote “almost surely unbeatable.” That is by no means an endorsement of Bondi or her conduct in office. I just don’t believe that Democrats have the money or a candidate who can beat her.

  2. Buddy's Bias says:

    Perry? The guy who openly breaks the law, and his constituents’ trust, by not living in his own district?

    If you can’t obey the laws, why should voters trust you to properly enforce them?

  3. The Guess Who says:

    Sheldon is the odds on favorite to win. Perry is a terrible campaigner and African Americans will not come out for him in the primary.

    If Sheldon was 15-20 years younger, he would be much better. But he does bring actual CREDENTIALS to the race (unlike Perry.) I like how you left off his most recent work in the Obama administration.

    Blacks are going to come out for Charlie, everyone knows this. Perry should stay focused on his State Senate campaign and be happy with that.

  4. Look beyond the race says:

    Perry is running to bring out more blacks in the August primary for his momma Judy Stern. Stern needs to turn out the Black vote any way possible for Gibbons, her candidate against sharief and Bobby Dubose.

  5. modeengunch says:

    Perry is your typical black Obama Decmocrat. Once exposed he doesn’t stand a prayer in the next state-wide elections.

  6. Sam The Sham says:

    Buddy admits what we all really know. There is a considerable and meaningful percentage of black voters that only consider the color of a candidates skin.

    This is, of course, the definition of racism. Can anyone imagine white people encouraging this position? Or men? “Vote for me because I am a white male”.

  7. Kevin Cerino says:

    In 2010 Florida Democrats nominated an African-American for the open US Senate seat. Republicans swept the entire state cabinet and picked up four congressional seats in the state. Why would anyone think that a little-known scandal-plagued state legislator would do any better than Kendrick Meek?

  8. Tim Ross says:

    Sam the Sham, racism is prejudice when you are in the majority. Otherwise it is called prejudice and bigotry. So you can only be a racist if you are in the majority. Hence black voters cannot be called racists in a statewide election where they are not in the majority. And blacks voting for blacks in many cases is not even bigotry and prejudice because they want a an African American at the table. After all, if you don’t have a seat at the table, you are likely to be in the menu. That is one of the reasons Obama took Florida. Twice.

  9. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    So let me get this straight since Thurston is Black means Black voters will come out in droves to vote for him again just because he is Black. Maybe some Black people do that but to generalize all Black people-no way. Then people say white people do the same thing(not all). Also to point out the blog comments. Boy “Judy Stern” gets hired to run this one or that ones campaign and some of you go nuts. One thing about Mrs. Stern she gets her canidates noticed. As far as any of these people running against Bondi here. I think she can be beat. Drill over and over when she delayed an execution because she didn’t want to distract from her fundraiser. Just imagine the victims family when they were told the execution was being postponed. She also sits on the Clemency bd. Oh my God, one letter I get states I’m now on the list. Then very next day I get another letter stating i’m not all set. Honest to God. Yeah, just the other day (Nov21), all set.(wait) Next day another letter states I have thirty days to submit stated documentation(which they already have) or they basicly throw out my clemency petion. I have all the paper work. Oh I know what some of you are thinking ‘it doesn’t help you one iota when you are calling the Gov. a goober(to bad-I’m not kissing ass for something that I’m entitled to). I know it took me a whole year to sort this all out(been busy-and how….).

  10. Sam The Sham says:

    Tim Ross, you are being sarcastic, right?