Sean Shaw (Attorney General)
Dynamic Attorney General candidate promises to fight Trump administration
Sean Shaw is a dynamic candidate for Attorney General who will push for real action on combating gun violence. Shaw is the son of the first African-American chief of justice of the Florida Supreme Court and a former Insurance Consumer Advocate who worked to protect consumers from price gouging and insurance fraud. As a State Representative, Shaw has regularly fought against entrenched Republican interests.
Shaw received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his JD from the University of Florida. He is an attorney with Merlin Law Group.
Shaw is running for an open seat to replace outgoing Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has been a staunch supporter of Donald Trump. He is seeking to become Florida's first Democratic Attorney General in decades, as well as the state's first black Attorney General. In Florida, the Attorney General wields power over numerous boards and commissions that govern state lands and state investments, as well as regulations pertaining to insurance and financial oversight. The Florida AG also serves as the agency head for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Revenue and Veterans Affairs and Law Enforcement. The next AG will also play a role in the 2021 redistricting process.
Sean Shaw (D)
Ashley Moody (R)
Raised $1.2 million, has $500,000 cash on hand (as of 6/30)
Spent $5.2m in a bitter Republican primary fight (as of 8/18)
A June 15 poll conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research showed Shaw leading both potential Republican candidates by a 4-5 point margin.
Republicans have long made Florida a breeding ground for awful policy ideas, from pioneering the right for citizens to carry concealed weapons to the infamous “Stand Your Ground” law that gained national attention in the 2012 shooting death of an unarmed black teenager named Trayvon Martin. It’s no mystery that Florida regularly ranks among the top 10 states in terms of violent crime. Florida Republicans have focused much of their efforts in recent years toward dismantling voting rights; defunding public education and affordable housing initiatives; and advancing policies that make sure Florida remains a low-wage state.
Florida’s state government has been under a Republican trifecta since 1998 (Republicans have had majorities in both legislative chambers and controlled the Governor’s office), but the political winds are starting to shift for Democrats. A court-ordered redrawing of district maps in 2015 put all 40 State Senate seats on the ballot in 2016; 20 of these seats are up again in 2018. The Democratic candidate won a special election in 2017 (SD-40), reducing the Republican Senate majority to 24-16. Democrats need to win 5 seats to take control of the State Senate, but at the very least, Republicans must be prevented from gaining a supermajority and the ability to override a veto from the Governor (the GOP gains a supermajority with a three-seat pickup).
Florida has sided with the eventual Presidential winner in every election since 2000, with margins of victory between 1 and 5 percent. Donald Trump won Florida with a 112,000-vote advantage of the 9.5 million votes cast. Republicans hold a 16-11 advantage in Florida’s Congressional delegation; the state is expected to gain at least 2 more Congressional seats after the next round of redistricting. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is running for re-election against term-limited Gov. Rick Scott, who spent more than $86 million of his own money in winning gubernatorial races in 2010 and 2014.