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Dave Aronberg, Dan Gelber to spar at Tiger Bay

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Many years Cabinet races don’t take much shape until close to Election Day. But Democrats Dave Aronberg and Dan Gelber have been charging hard for six months already to become their party’s candidate for Attorney General, as incumbent Bill McCollum exits to run for governor.

The two state senators from South Florida have agreed to a joint appearance in the Tigers’ Den to let Tampa Bay look them over and hear their pitch to manage Florida’s legal affairs. Both have prosecutorial experience. Gelber spent a decade in the U.S. attorney’s office, specializing in criminal cases, and worked as counsel on a U.S. Senate subcommittee on terrorism in the 1990s. Aronberg spent two years as an assistant attorney general specializing in civil matters (and shutting down TV-psychic Miss Cleo) for Bob Butterworth, who he cites as a role model.

Beyond legal matters, Tigers may wish to quiz the candidates on the broader business of the State Cabinet including environmental lands purchases and oversight of state investments. And we will be mid-session with an array of pending issues on which the Democratic minority looks to have a say. The two agree on some substantive issues but look for sharp debate on who is best qualified to be Florida’s top lawyer.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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