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Kottkamp's candidacy for AG takes flight

Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp made it official Monday: He's a Republican candidate for attorney general. Inexplicably, he did it at an event highlighting the importance of flight -- the one topic Kottkamp should be trying to avoid for the next 16 months. He'll face Fort Lauderdale lawyer Jim Lewis in the GOP primary.

Kottkamp, who plans a formal announcement Wednesday, faces an ethics inquiry over his use of state airplanes to fly him from his home in Fort Myers to his office in Tallahassee, but he expressed the view that the case would be resolved in his favor. "I feel confident that's going come out just fine," he said as he ended a brief Q-and-A with reporters.

He emphasized he's driving to West Palm Beach on Tuesday for a sheriffs' conference dealing with drug control issues, and he and Gov. Charlie Crist plan a statewide fly-around Wednesday to tout the state's adoption program. (Kottkamp said he had no idea where Crist was on Monday). 

"Serving as attorney general would certainly be a culmination of a lot of experiences I've had in my life," Kottkamp said. "It's something I feel very passionate about. But first and foremost, as I said, I'm going to focus on  being lieutenant governor."   

The setting was the Challenger Learning Center in Tallahassee where Kottkamp and other members of the Space Florida board marked the 40th anniversary of man's landing on the Moon. With scale models of space capsules and images of flight all around him, Kottkamp read a proclamation from Crist marking the occasion, and visited with young children taking part in various arts and crafts.

-- Steve Bousquet