The campaign for governor gets most of the attention, but lots of conversation in the hotel hallways and over drinks when Florida Democrats gather this weekend for their big annual fundraising dinner in Hollywood will concern lower statewide offices.
Former state Sen. Walter “Skip” Campbell of Fort Lauderdale says he’s had entreaties from a “prominent Democrat” wondering if he’s interested in seeking the Democratic nomination for state attorney general next year.
He isn’t. “I’m not going to run for A.G,” he said.
Campbell was the 2006 nominee, and narrowly lost the general election.
A campaign requires lots of money for TV ads, and the Democrat would face an incumbent attorney general, Pam Bondi.
"The cost of running for any type of statewide office is becoming prohibitive. And you’ve got the incumbency. You’ve got Pam Bondi. I don’t think she’s made too many bad steps,” Campbell said.
“It’s difficult when you look at the cost involved,” Campbell said. “You’re taking almost a year and a half or two years of your life sitting on the phone asking everyone you know for a campaign contribution. That’s difficult. At a point in time people just don’t take your calls any more.”
Campbell said it’s a difficult state to get around. He’s a pilot who had a plane when he ran for attorney general. “That certainly helped me,” he said. “I think I landed at every public and private airport in the state of Florida at some point during that campaign.”
Campbell loved serving in the Florida Senate, and said he may make a comeback attempt in 2016.
“I would think about doing that. But, again, that’s three years away. It’s a little early to think about,” he said. “I thoroughly enjoyed being a state senator because you got to do your day job and you got to do policy.”
The day job is practicing law at Krupnick & Campbell in Fort Lauderdale.
Another Fort Lauderdale politician and lawyer considering higher office is state Rep. Perry Thurston, currently the Democratic Party leader in the Florida House.
He leaves office in 2014 because of term limits. He said he’s still thinking about running for attorney general.
“We’re still open to consideration of doing whatever’s in the best interest of the Democratic Party of the state of Florida,” Thurston said. “If there’s a more qualified candidate then I would support that candidate.
Thurston said he’s “actively thinking about it.”
Meanwhile, he has filed paperwork allowing him to raise money for a campaign for Florida Senate in 2016.Copyright © 2015, CT Now