Pam Bondi Challenges Primary Winner George Sheldon to Debate

Categories: Politics

Former Obama official George Sheldon defeated his primary opponent for the right to take on Pam Bondi for the state attorney general last night. And Bondi wasted no time in calling him up and challenging the man to a debate.

Sheldon's win was pretty overwhelming, taking more than 60 percent of the vote over Perry Thurston. And while both men entered Tuesday's primary as virtual unknowns, Sheldon is vowing to make sure people know he stands in stark contrast to Bondi.

See also: Broward Primary Election Results

Among the biggest differences between the two: Sheldon, 67, is for the legalization of medical marijuana and for same-sex marriage -- two of the biggest issues Bondi has publicly stood against.

During his victory speech Tuesday night, Sheldon threw down the gauntlet, saying, "Help me give Pam Bondi the job she really wants, as an anchor on Fox News."

Bondi replied with a statement of her own.

After she called Sheldon to congratulate him on his win, she sent out a news release.

"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 to the Attorney General's Office," the release says. "This can be accomplished through thoughtful and respectful dialogue worthy of our great State."

The statement also added some of Bondi's accomplishments: "I have been honored to serve as Florida's Attorney General over the last four years, and am proud of the incredible progress we have made in shutting down pill mills across the state, eradicating synthetic drugs, working to combat human trafficking and protecting our citizens from fraud," it says.

So who is George Sheldon?

He's an attorney and longtime Democrat who has served at various levels in government since 1969 who has served in the Florida House of Representatives,

In 2008, he was named secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families under then-Gov. Charlie Crist.

Most notably, between 2011 and 2013, Sheldon became the acting assistant secretary for the federal Administration for Children and Families in the United States Department of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration.

He also kind of looks like the eHarmony guy.

For the time being, it would seem Bondi is the heavy favorite.

Bondi is backed by the Florida Police Chiefs Association, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and Florida Home Builders Association, among others,

And, with heavy hitters in her corner, she's has been able to raise more than $3.5 million for her reelection campaign.

Sheldon, meanwhile, raised and spent about $500,000 for his primary campaign.

Sheldon knows he's the underdog, saying in his speech Tuesday: "I'm under no illusions. This will be a tough campaign. They will throw everything they have at me."

For now, Sheldon has at least this going for him: Pam Bondi is widely unpopular among same-sex marriage advocates and those who want to see Amendment 2 pass.

Whether that will translate to an upset in November remains to be seen.

No date has yet been set for a debate.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.

Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Wouldn't it be a better debate with all three candidates qualified and on the ballot?


Madame Attorney General and Mr. Sheldon, I, Bill Wohlsifer, Libertarian Candidate for Attorney General, respectfully call upon you to participate in a debate among the three of us, i.e., all attorney general candidates that will be on the ballot in November 2014. The Republican's challenge in ----- ----- to debate the Democrat without any mention of me, the Libertarian candidate, defies the notion of open and robust debate that our country was built upon. We have each been invited to debate on campus at FAU in Boca Raton on October 8, 2014, by FAU's Political Science Department. The event was announced months ago, yet I am the only one who accepted the challenge. Please stand up and accept the invitation and join the debate with me on campus. Fill the two empty seats. I look forward to seeing you there. Bill Wohlsifer, Libertarian Candidate for Attorney General.


There are THREE candidates on the ballot in the Attorney General race.  Ms. Bondi challenging just one demonstrates her lack of respect for the voters and the third candidate, BILL WOHLSIFER.

I also find it strange that she would challenge George Sheldon to a debate instead of challenging him on his twisting the rules for ballot access in this race.  He failed to meet 2 of the 3 requirements to run in this race because he lived in DC (AG candidate is supposed to reside in FL for the past 7 years) and he did NOT maintain his FL Bar membership or practice law in FL for 3 of the past 5 years.  

When Thurston challenged Sheldon, the judge ruled in Sheldon's favor on the residency; and the FL Bar reinstated him ... I wonder - did the judge just change the constitutional criteria forever for the AG position or just for special politicians?

Or - if Sheldon were elected would the taxpayers have to pay for a special election to replace him because he doesn't meet the Constitutional requirements?

Pam Bondi: You are a very poor example.  Please demonstrate a little integrity and debate both of your opponents.


Ms. Bondi and Mr. Sheldon, I call upon you to participate in a debate among the three of us who will be on the ballot in November 2014. I will make myself available for any debate relating to the Office of Attorney General. We have each been invited to debate on campus at FAU in Boca Raton on October 8, 2014, by FAU's Political Science Department. Please stand up and accept the invitation and debate with me on campus. I look forward to seeing you there. Bill Wohlsifer, Libertarian Candidate for Attorney General.


I am so tired of Pam  Bondi rhetoric I am sending $ to George & I don't even live in the state. 

frankd4 topcommenter

...............let's see if BONDI is backed by the FLORIDUH SUPREME COURT on same-sex marriage and medical marijiuana


Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail



"... thoughtful and respectful dialogue worthy of our great State."

Hope she had on the Depends, because there's no way she could make a statement like that without pissing her pants from pure shame.

Andrew Creech
Andrew Creech

Oooo Gator vs Nole. Republican vs Democrat. Old South Florida Girl vs Jersey Transplant. Should be fun to watch Daddy's girl get dismantled. First question: Did you forget the meaning of Liberty while you attempted to block the people's right to marry and live with whom they choose?

Aaron James
Aaron James

Yeah um, hey Pam. We are all a little sick of you.


@menotq Please don't send money to a candidate who doesn't even meet the criteria to be on the ballot.  If you're looking to support Pam Bondi's challenger - please learn more about Bill Wohlsifer. and consider supporting his campaign.  


@menotq No, don't do that. Send your campaign contribution to me. I am by far the most qualified attorney to serve in this high position. Please review my platform at and at Thank you for your kind consideration

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault