Pam Bondi named chair of Republican Attorneys General Association

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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has been voted head of the Republican Attorneys General Association. During a vote this weekend at the group’s fall meeting in Miami Bondi accepted the nomination.

“It is an honor to be selected by my fellow Republican Attorneys General to lead RAGA at such a critical time in our country’s history. We will continue to stand up for the rule of law and protect the citizens of our states,” Bondi said.

Her new appointment comes in the wake of allegations that Bondi has gotten a little too cozy with lobbyists during RAGA events and has accepted more than $25,000 in gifts from the group to attend lavish meetings and getaways. The scandal was further thrust into the spotlight after Bondi allowed one lobbyist to stay at her home to recover from surgery while Bondi attended a RAGA-sponsored trip.

RAGA has brought in $16 million this year and contributed $750,000 to Bondi’s re-election.

The bad press has left both Bondi and RAGA un-wavered. Bondi sailed to re-election over Democrat George Sheldon with 55 percent of the vote and RAGA boasts flipping three states from blue to red.

RAGA is known for pushing conservative talking points. That includes opposing the federal healthcare law and any other legislation they see as government overreach. Bondi, during her victory speech on election night, maintained those commitments.

Bondi’s post is for the 2014-2015 year. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will take the helm the following year.

“With the announcement of our new team, RAGA will have strong, aggressive and seamless leadership in the years to come,” said Chairman-Elect, Attorney General Bill Schuette of Michigan. “I am delighted to be a part of this outstanding organization.”

Here’s the press release from RAGA:

Today, the Republican Attorneys General Association released the following statement regarding the announcement of their new Executive Committee.

“We are pleased to announce the new members of RAGA’s Executive Committee and the succession plan for the next three years,” said Jessica Medeiros Garrison, RAGA Executive Director.

“It is an honor to be selected by my fellow Republican Attorneys General to lead RAGA at such a critical time in our country’s history. We will continue to stand up for the rule of law and protect the citizens of our states,” said the newly elected Chairman, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

“With the announcement of our new team, RAGA will have strong, aggressive and seamless leadership in the years to come,” said Chairman-Elect, Attorney General Bill Schuette of Michigan. “I am delighted to be a part of this outstanding organization.”

“I look forward to serving in the leadership of RAGA so we can maintain and expand upon the current support for Republican Attorneys General,” said Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. “These AGs are dedicated to defending the constitution of their respective states as well as safeguarding the U.S. Constitution.”

RAGA Chairmanship:

2014-2015 Chairman – Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida

2015-2016 Chairman – Attorney General Bill Schuette, Michigan

2016-2017 Chairman – Attorney General Luther Strange, Alabama

2014-2015 Executive Committee:

Chairman – Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida

Chairman-Elect 2015-2016– Attorney General Bill Schuette, Michigan

Chairman-Elect 2016-2017– Attorney General Luther Strange, Alabama

Immediate Past Chairman – Attorney General Alan Wilson, South Carolina

Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma

Attorney General Sam Olens, Georgia

Attorney General Tim Fox, Montana

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia

Attorney General Sean Reyes, Utah

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.