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State Rep. Charles McBurney (file photo)

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Charles McBurney files for 4th circuit judgeship

Former State Rep. Charles McBurney opened a campaign account Mar. 1 to start his race for a judgeship in Florida’s 4th Circuit.

Currently, McBurney is unopposed for the 2018 election.

Of course, last time the Jacksonville Republican was up for a judgeship (via gubernatorial appointment), by appointment in 2016, he faced an opponent more powerful than any on the ballot: the NRA’s Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer.

McBurney,  who chaired the House Judiciary Committee in 2016, tabled a bill that would have shifted the burden of proof from defendants to prosecutors under the state’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law.

“In order to gain favor with prosecutors, he refused to hold a hearing on the ‘Burden of Proof’ bill, SB-344 by Sen. Rob Bradley, which restores the presumption of innocence in self-defense cases,” Hammer wrote, saying that “McBurney, a former prosecutor himself, wants prosecutors to help him become a judge so he engaged in political pandering to prosecutors. McBurney traded your rights for personal gain.”

McBurney, in response to thousands of emails generated by the NRA’s “Action Alert,” attempted his own ill-fated campaign to enlist testimonials.

He was powerless against the Hammer, however, and Robert Dees got the judgeship.

It will be interesting to see who emerges to oppose McBurney in the upcoming weeks.

McBurney is well-regarded in Jacksonville, but a concerted statewide lobbying campaign with money behind it could make McBurney’s race one to watch.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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