Leon County Circuit Court Judge Josefina Tamayo's bid to remain on the bench proved unsuccessful tonight, and critics say her ties with Attorney General Pam Bondi are partially to blame.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting in all six counties that make up the 2nd Judicial Circuit, challenger Barbara Hobbs had received 54.4 percent of the vote, beating Tamayo by nearly 15,000 votes.
Tamayo, a former prosecutor, was appointed to the Circuit Court by Gov. Charlie Crist in 2010 and was seeking her first full six-year term. Bondi, who said she has known Tamayo for 20 years, endorsed her former colleague and even hosted a fundraiser on Tamayo's behalf.
That drew criticism from Hobbs supporters, who said the endorsement crossed the line. They noted that judges on the 2nd Judicial Circuit often hear cases involving the state government, which arguably could involve Bondi. Both Bondi and Tamayo denied that any conflicts existed and defended Bondi's endorsement.