Bondi slams Gillum for supporting anti-death penalty state attorney

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is calling out Democrat gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum for honoring Orlando-area State Attorney Aramis Ayala at an event Saturday in Miami.

“It is unfathomable to me that Andrew Gillum would participate in honoring State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who refused to even consider the death penalty for the man who brutally murdered a true hero – Lieutenant Debra Clayton, said Attorney General Bondi. “Andrew Gillum is demonstrating that he will not stand up for our brave law enforcement officers who risk their lives each day to keep us safe.”

Lt. Clayton was an Orlando Police officer murdered in 2017 allegedly by Markeith Loyd, who’s also accused of killing his girlfriend and unborn child. It was after this murder that Ayala announced she would not seek the death penalty for this or any case in the 9th Judicial Circuit. She did not inform voters of her opposition to the death penalty during her campaign. Ayala’s drew the ire of Governor Rick Scott who removed potential death penalty cases under her jurisdiction and assigned them to other state attorney’s around Florida. Ayala sued the Governor and lost. She later established a committee in her office to determine usage of the death penalty.

Ayala is considered a pariah by death penalty supporters, which explains Bondi’s reaction to Gillum’s show of support.

After learning of Bondi’s comment, Gillum – who pledged to stay positive even when others go negative – attacked Bondi for her close ties to President Trump. Gillum said on Twitter, “Wonder how many credits this is worth towards her degree from @realDonaldTrump university.”

Gillum Bondi tweet

The Tallahassee Mayor hasn’t been afraid in the past few days to go after his opponent, Republican Ron DeSantis. Gillum’s been emboldened by every public poll showing him leading in the race. The latest survey, from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, shows Gillum leading by 6 percent.

David Bishop is a native Floridian, husband and father. During his 30 year career, David has been a journalist, political operative and communications consultant.