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After Sheldon raises debate challenge to five, will Bondi call?

Officially, Attorney Pam Bondi was the first to issue the debate challenge to George Sheldon.

It was just minutes after Sheldon had won the Democratic nomination for Attorney General on Tuesday night when Bondi's campaign blasted an email stating that Bondi "calls for general election debate."

"The voters will have a clear choice between candidates in this election and they deserve to hear directly from us on the distinct difference in visions and leadership that each candidate will offer," the email stated. "This can be accomplished through thoughtful and respectful dialogue worthy of our great state."

While celebrating with supporters at a Tallahassee wine bar, Sheldon accepted, and then some.

"I'll debate her five times if she's up for it."

To emphasize that, Sheldon's campaign blasted its challenge to Bondi on Friday: Five debates over the next two months.

"The choice of attorney general every four years deserves more than one debate," Sheldon concludes in an open letter to Bondi.

By Friday afternoon, it wasn't clear if Bondi would debate that many times. Her campaign has at least $4.2 million to spend, while Sheldon, financially exhausted after a primary battle against Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, has about $50,000. In a state where candidates need TV air time to win, debates are a valuable way to make up ground lost in campaign finances.

“We’re glad that Attorney General Bondi’s opponent has accepted her request to debate the issues. Our teams will be in contact to work out the details in the coming weeks,” said Bondi's campaign spokesman, Trey Stapleton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

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MarvinM

I don't remember even one AG debate in 2010. It's possible I missed it. Anyone remember it?

I do remember Pam Bondi never came on This Week in South Florida with Michael Putney although he reported she was invited over and over and over. On one program where candidate Gelber came in and sounded like a very intelligent candidate, they played a recorded statement of Bondi's that was all "I'll push that Obamacare suit forward and have it declared unconstitutional" and she had zero personality or charm - at least not in that video.

Hey Bondi, how's that suit goin' for ya? Or the drug testing law one? Or the gay marriage ban one? I wonder what she has done as AG and have the feeling she won't agree to five debates because she'll have trouble filling the time of just one if asked to answer the question "What have you accomplished for Floridians?"

And sending suits to higher court that cost money and don't get anywhere is not an accomplishment.

ed jenkins

The citizens do not care for these debates which they do not consider informative and they are not impressed by candidates who try to outbid each other in number of debates promised.

Can't take anymore

I guess Phat Pam will simply drone on and on about her opposition to abortion, immigrants, open government, gay marriage, medical marijuana, and anything else her boss Rick Scott tells her to go fight in the courts. At least George Sheldon is an experienced political hand who actually knows how things work in a democracy.

Bill Thompson

The Pam lady will play rope-a-dope until November, hoping that she can coast along to victory without having to campaign or debate her opponent so she can pocket the millions in campaign slush funds and save them for 2018 when she runs for governor, even though she has very little to show for 3.5 years as attorney general.

Jo Vaccarino

Any debate that doesn't include all three AG candidates is a fake debate. Bill WOHLSIFER paid the same fee and met the same criteria as the other two - so if he is excluded, that is some rotten smelling politics - which both Sheldon and Bondi seem to be promoting. They just don't want to talk about Wohlsifer. Sheldon must be afraid Wohlsifer is much stronger on civil liberties. And I bet Bondi is worried about how he'll show her up on Constitutional law.

Anyway - if there is a debate with no Wohlsifer be sure to show up with cameras because Wohlsifer's army will be there to protest in style.

Jo Vaccarino

I have a question - Miami Times - didn't you run the article about how Sheldon failed to meet the constitutional requirements for FL AG? He didn't live in Florida the past 7 years and wasn't a member of the FL Bar or practicing law in FL for 3 of the last 5 years. I know, a judge ruled in his favor - but can one judge change the requirements forever?

Miami Times - did you know George is bragging about your endorsement on his Facebook page? It's so odd - why would you expose his disregard for the rules and then endorse him? Don't you want an Attorney General who respects the law?

If you're looking to endorse an honest AG candidate who respects the law and is just awesome on civil liberties - please endorse Bill Wohlsifer.

BBaker

"The voters will have a clear choice between candidates in this election and they deserve to hear directly from us on the distinct difference in visions and leadership that each candidate will offer"

I will agree that voters deserve to hear from ALL THREE CANDIDATES for AG and there are definitely distinct differences. Bondi is only a tool for the Republican Party and only got elected because all the old men in the GOP thought she was hot. She has done Florida wrong on more than one occasion. Sheldon, first he says that he was not a resident here so he didn't keep up his license to practice law, but then he wanted to run for AG so he said he was a resident. Which is it George? You are a flip-flopper just like Crist, typical politician. Go crawl back in your hole old man! Bill Wohlsifer is a man who has more integrity and passion for serving the people of Florida in one pinky finger than Bondi and Sheldon have in their whole bodies. Both Bondi and Sheldon are taking taxpayer money (aka public financing) for their campaigns - that FORCES you to support them against your will. Bondi wants to keep gays from marrying while she herself rides the marry-go-round (spelled that way on purpose btw - tells you what a biotch she must be at home she can't even keep a man happy-maybe she needs a woman!) and medical patients from being able to choose how they treat their condition, Sheldon will let the Feds come and take our guns and run amuck all over the state. With Amendment 2 sure to pass, we need an AG that understands what he is dealing with and to make sure it is set up properly to benefit patients, not hand-picked "friends". Read this to find out why Wohlsifer is the ONLY one with the ability to handle the implementation of A2 properly http://floridamarijuanainfo.org/in-the-news/libertarian-attorney-general-candidate-campaigning-for-cannabis/

WOHLSIFER MUST BE IN THE DEBATES OR IT PROVES THE MEDIA IS BOUGHT AND PAID FOR

Bob

There are three candidates in this race. Ignoring one is insuulting ot the voters, no matter if Bondo does it or the Miami Herald does it. What are the two of them afraid of ? Bill Wohlsifer is a better candidate than both put together.

LORAX

"Officially" - Bill Wohlsifer challenged both to a debate at FAU months ago. Nice to see you failed to mention him as a candidate yet again. I did notice you mentioned the guy that is no longer on the race. Wohlsifer is by far the most legally competent and current attorney in the field and has actual solutions to offer. It would be really balanced of you to include ALL qualified candidates, but then again if you did that Mr. Sheldon does not really make the cut. Of course that is another story of rules not applying equally.

LynneC

I hope Sheldon can raise enough money to get attention.
Bondi looks out for the Republican party not the State of Florida. Her lawsuits were her not the people of Florida, she spend money and time on her agenda with the Republican party.
Her views along with Gov. Scott are so biased. Florida needs
sentencing reform, Florida needs to get rid of the 85% rule for non-violent offenders. Florida needs to change some of
the Felonies laws to misdemeanors like other states. WE CAN'T AFFORD OUR SENTENCING GUIDELINES. Pretty soon most of Florida will be in prison. Who will pay then?

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