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Moody vs. Ayala: What's the Florida attorney general race matchup?

Here's where Florida's attorney general and her new Democratic challenger stand on the issues.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Aramis Ayala beat out candidates Jim Lewis and Daniel Uhlfelder on Tuesday night to become the Democratic nominee for attorney general.

In November, she'll face off against Republican incumbent Ashley Moody, who ran unopposed in the primary.

Now that the stage is set, here's what you need to know about the candidates and where they stand on the issues facing Florida.

Aramis Ayala (D)

Ayala became the first Black state attorney in Florida when she was elected in 2016. She held the position until 2021.

Most notably, the former Orlando-area state attorney has made national headlines for refusing to seek the death penalty in murder cases, arguing it has been unevenly applied and is not a deterrent for serious crime. 

During her time as state attorney, Ayala pushed for civil citations instead of punishment for non-violent first-time juvenile offenders, a coalition for domestic and child abuse, and created a low-income bail fund, WKMG-TV reports.

Having "observed the far-reaching, multigenerational effects of systemic inequality" at an early age, Ayala writes on her website that she has dedicated her career to advocating for "people left behind by the system."

According to her website, the issues she plans to focus on are:

  • Constitutional protections for women, minorities and the LGBTQ+ community. This includes fighting against the 15-week abortion ban, the Parental Rights in Education Bill and a DeSantis-drawn congressional map that breaks up predominantly Black districts.
  • Investigating fraudulent nursing home practices, insurance companies and "predatory lenders." Ayala says she will also work to provide access to safe, affordable housing and crack down on discrimination and deceptive mortgage practices.
  • Defending workers rights
  • Decreasing Florida's reliance on fossil fuels
  • Public safety from domestic and gun violence

Ashley Moody (R)

Ashley Moody, a Plant City native, became Florida's 38th attorney general in 2019. On her website, she touts her work as the chair of Florida’s Statewide Council on Human Trafficking and a leader in the fight against "unlawful federal vaccine mandates, the lack of border enforcement by federal officials, and the harmful actions of Big Tech."

Moody started her legal career practicing commercial litigation before joining the United States Attorney’s Office prosecuting drug, firearm and fraud offenses.

In 2006, she became the youngest judge in Florida when she was elected Circuit Court Judge of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County at age 31.

Earlier this year, Moody played a major role in the $680 million settlement Florida reached with Walgreens over the pharmaceutical company's role in the opioid epidemic.

  According to her website, Moody's priorities include:

  • Supporting law enforcement
  • Combatting human trafficking
  • Tackling the opioid epidemic
  • Fighting senior fraud
  • Fighting federal overreach
  • Supporting mental health
  • Protecting Florida's future
  • Upholding the rule of law

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