Frank White campaign ad
From White campaign ad

In one of the more brutal television ads of this election cycle, Republican attorney general candidate Frank White has attacked his GOP opponent – Ashley Moody, a former Hillsborough County circuit judge.

In the commercial, White boosts his conservative credentials while launching a full blown assault on Moody. “The choice is clear for attorney general,” the ad narrator says. “Conservative Frank White or liberal Judge Ashley Moody?”

Moody was a registered Democrat in the early 1990’s, so was current Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has endorsed her in this race.

The “pro abortion liberals” White accuses Moody of contributing to was $100 to Bill McBride, a Tampa attorney, who ran against Jeb Bush in 2002.

It’s also true that Moody sued Donald Trump in 2002 in an effort to recoup investor money in the failed Trump Tower Tampa project.

White and Moody have been neck-in-neck in fundraising. White, a state representative from Pensacola, has raised $4 million – $2.7 million are his personal funds. Moody has raised nearly $3 million.

Expectantly, Moody’s campaign fired back at the White broadside.

“This is more of the same unfortunate rhetoric we’ve come to expect from a politician trying to buy his way into the Attorney General’s office,” said Nick Catroppo, Moody’s campaign manager. “Frank has spent more time in the showroom than in the courtroom and now he’s trying to distract from the obvious fact that he is unqualified to be Attorney General. He has no experience as a prosecutor and has never tried a case before a court of law. It’s a very dangerous path we’re headed in when a politician running to be the state’s top prosecutor begins playing fast and loose with the truth.”

Until recently this was a three person Republican primary, but Jacksonville State Representative Jay Fant dropped out prior to qualifying. A new St. Pete Polls survey, conducted on behalf of Florida Politics, showed White leading Moody 26-19 with 55 percent of Republicans surveyed undecided. White’s lead could be the result of a $1 million TV campaign, while Moody has yet to run commercials statewide.

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