The two competitive Republican races for seats on the Florida Cabinet appear to be up for grabs going in to the August 28 primary. A new Gravis Marketing poll shows the races for Attorney General and Agriculture Commissioner are within the margin of error and the candidate currently in 2nd or 3rd place could actually prevail Tuesday night.
In the GOP race for Attorney General, former judge Ashley Moody leads corporate attorney and State Representative Frank White 34%-31%. That three point separation is within the margin of error of ±5.5%. The race to replace outgoing Attorney General Pam Bondi has been the most contentious statewide race this election cycle. White has spent most of the race calling Moody a “lifelong Democrat” – a claim that has been repeatedly proven to be false. Earlier this week, White’s campaign was accused of manipulating a TV news report in one of its campaign commercials to give the impression its accusation against Moody was correct.
In return, Moody’s law enforcement surrogates have accused White of not having the proper background to be Attorney General – calling him a “car salesman turned politician.”
The winner of the GOP race will face Democrat state Representative Sean Shaw. On Friday, a circuit judge removed Shaw’s opponent, Ryan Torrens, from the ballot. Shaw sued Torrens claiming he used an illegal contribution to pay the required qualification fee.
The Republican race for Agriculture Commissioner is also up for grabs. The top three candidates are also within the margin of error. State Representative Matt Caldwell leads at 20%, followed by former Representative Baxter Troutman at 18%, State Senator Denise Grimsley is at 15% and retired Army Colonel Mike McCalister is at 13%.
This race, too, has had its share of drama. Caldwell’s past comments as a “Never Trump” supporter have been used against him. Caldwell says he now supports President Donald Trump. Troutman has also had to deal with a past issue. Earlier this week, a text message sent to Republicans mentioned Troutman’s 2012 arrest for domestic battery. The charges were dropped days later, and Troutman and his wife call the incident an unfortunate event. Troutman has put $3 million of his own money in this race.
The winner of the four-way Republican race will face one of three Democrats – Nikki Fried, Jeffrey Porter or Roy Walker.