State Attorney Ed Brodsky won reelection in Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit. It brings to a close an eventful political season for the Sarasota Republican where he faced challenges from ex-employees from the right and the left.
On Tuesday, he beat Democrat Betsy Young soundly. With all precincts and the early and vote-by-mail reported in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties, Brodsky led with 282,147 votes to Young’s 282,147.
“I’m incredibly honored to carry all three counties with 80,000 votes,” Brodsky said. “It’s been my absolute honor to serve as State Attorney and I am steadfast in my commitment to seeking to enhance public safety in our community every day.”
Brodsky faced questions through the election season about his office’s prosecutorial decisions. Young questioned decisions to bring criminal charges in multiple suicide attempts.
At the same time, Brodsky spent much of the year countering charges by Republican primary opponent Lisa Chittaro that he focused too little on rooting out local corruption and going after hardened criminals. Both Chittaro and Young previously worked in the State Attorney’s Office.
He defeated Chittaro with 67% of the vote in the Republican primary, then went straight into battle with Young.
The Democrat from the launch of her campaign made clear she would go after the incumbent aggressively. Her website included a section for individuals to leak details of cases they believed the State Attorney mishandled.
More recently, Young’s own legal credentials came into question. In October, media scrutinized her claim at the start of her campaign that she had tried 150 jury trials. A Sarasota Herald-Tribune investigation found she had worked only about 34. Brodsky immediately said the dishonesty should be disqualifying for voters.
A political development came in the race when a criminal allegation was sent to Brodsky’s office alleging prominent campaign attorney Eric Robinson had committed crimes in the handling of campaign contribution records.
The matter became public when Brodsky recused himself from the investigation because he used Robinson as his own campaign treasurer. The matter remains under investigation by Democratic State Attorney Andrew Warren. Brodsky declined to fire Robinson as his treasurer.