David Simmons Can Use 2014 to Set Up AG Bid in 2018

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: June 20, 2014 3:55 AM
David Simmons

David Simmons

Even as he faces an opponent this year, David Simmons can be pardoned if he starts looking beyond 2014 toward a bid for state office in 2018. 

Simmons is well known in Tallahassee for his eight years in the House and his four years in the Senate. He even served his first two years in the Senate as part of the leadership, holding the GOP whip position.

But Simmons, the financial managing partner of de Beaubien, Knight, Simmons, Mantzaris, & Neal, is also an accomplished attorney who was on Connie Mack's Federal Judicial Advisory Committee. The Seminole County legislator also has ties to several legal groups including various Bar associations at the national, state and county levels.  He also sat on the board of trustees of Vanderbilt’s Law School alumni group.

With those kind of credentials, there’s little surprise that Simmons is already generating some buzz about running for attorney general in 2018 when Pam Bondi is term-limited. Unlike recent attorneys general like Charlie Crist and Bill McCollum, it’s impossible to imagine Simmons using the post as a springboard for higher office. Simmons is no spring chicken and would be 66 come the 2018 elections.

More than a few connected Central Florida Republicans are putting the word out that Simmons is interested in following Bondi as attorney general and he would certainly be a credible candidate. Granted, he is pretty well-known in his home base of Seminole and Volusia counties and he has ties to Orange County as well. Certainly, Simmons is prominent in Tallahassee. He has some work to do to raise his profile in other parts of the state but four years offers plenty of time to do that.

Closer on the calendar, Simmons is in excellent shape for November. By the end of May, he had brought in more than $206,000 and spent less than $48,700. No Democrats are standing in his way but educator and engineer Walter Osborne is running against him with no party affiliation. Osborne has some interesting ideas about education and voting reforms but he didn’t have much luck when he ran for the Seminole County School Board. Despite loaning his campaign around $6,200 in May and qualifying for the ballot this week, Osborne has an uphill fight on his hands.

Simmons should cruise over Osborne in November and can afford to look down the road. Despite being a proven winner in a key part of the state and a strong fundraiser, Simmons shouldn’t expect as easy a path in 2018 if he runs for attorney general. Simmons has four years to get his name out there and build a campaign operation. Sure, it’s early to be looking at 2018 -- but Simmons has the luxury of an easy task this time out.

Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.

Comments (2)

they do it all the time
12:13PM JUN 21ST 2014
The term limits thing was put into law just to get rid of the old timers when Jeb Bush took over the state of Florida including informing the Florida courts that they were subservient to both the executive and legislative branches of government!

That's what happened to the old "case law" that we use to depend on so much in Florida Southern 2nd.

Actually this is something called Courthouse News that collects up all the new suits filed and sells them to attorney's, but very little attention is paid this day and time to the outcome of court cases. Most are fixed and everyone with 1/2 a brain knows it!

So, with the term limits thing they just make sure their most "impotent" ones have a place to enhance their state retirement and many times double dip state and other government retirements for maximum results.

The last time these Tallahassee king makers tried to put their man in the AG office was with former State Senator Carey Baker (remember the guy who wanted to pass the law against the jewels hanging on truck trailer hitches?) First Haridouplas paid Baker $90 thousand a year as an advisor (to advise what who knows, this guy can't get out of a shower of rain) then they set him up to run of AG Commissioner, the Adam Putnam joined the race and Carey Baker jumped ship. Haridouplas took care of him until with the help of Jeb Bush and his Lake County bush whackers they installed him in the property appraisers office.

Hey man, these goons take care of their own. They even Tried with Steve Precourt, but they got caught and the new narcissistic State Attorney in Orange County flung a few charges against some of them just to make it all go away.
C Breeze
12:11PM JUN 20TH 2014
It is very nearly impossible to "pull someone off of a 'government mammary' once they have tasted the 'milk & honey' of government service. In these 'ever shifting political times' EVERYONE thinks they have an 'easy cruise' opportunity to lifetime largesse at the "government trough". DON'T GIVE ME "CHARMING", AND DON'T GIVE ME "MR. NICE GUY I'VE BEEN AROUND FOREVER AND IT"S MY TURN;".... GIVE ME "COMPETENT" !

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