Amira Fox, Kathy Smith re-elected without opposition

20th Circuit
Thirteen circuit court judges were also re-elected without a contest.

Both State Attorney Amira Fox and Public Defender Kathy Smith won re-election without opposition in Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue serving as the State Attorney for the 20th Judicial Circuit.” Fox said in a statement. “I am looking forward to continuing to focus on keeping Southwest Florida the safest area in all of Florida by ensuring violent offenders, drug dealers, and those that prey on our most vulnerable are behind bars and off of our streets.”

Fox enjoyed an easy path to re-election four years after a caustic Republican Primary with Lee County attorney Chris Crowley. She ultimately won the GOP Primary with 57% of the vote to Crowley’s 43%. The tension between those candidates continued over intervening years, including Florida Bar complaints over accusations he leveled in the campaign. But Crowley made clear over the weekend he would not challenge Fox at the ballot box.

“I decided to stay on active duty with the U.S. Army and will NOT be running for elected office in 2022,” Crowley said in a Facebook post on Sunday, a day before qualification week began.

As for Smith, she has held the circuit’s Public Defender office now since 2008, when she won a Republican Primary over Brian Boyle and Rex Darrow.

In addition to her role as Public Defender, Smith also teaches at Florida Gulf Coast University.

The circuit was the last one created in the state to date and its elections fall on a different election cycle than most circuits.

There will be a race for Lee County Judge between Lindsay Scott Garza and incumbent Judge Archie Hayward. In Collier County, Pamela Barger and Chris Brown will run for a spot on the county bench.

Ten 20th circuit judges also won re-election without opposition, including Robert Branning, Lauren Brodie, Kyle Cohen, Alane Laboda, Ramiro Mañalich, Shannon McFeeGilberto Perez, Jim Shenko, James Sloan and Nick Thompson.

In the neighboring 12th Judicial Circuit, three Circuit Court judges — Thomas Krug, Diana Moreland and Matt White — also won re-election and won’t face anyone on the ballot.

A number of county judges qualified without opposition, including Manatee County’s Jacqueline Blanton Steele, Sarasota County’s Phyllis Rogers Galen, MaryAnn Olsom Boehm and Erika Quartermaine, Lee County’s Nicole Mirra.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]

One comment

  • Ron Ogden

    May 6, 2022 at 5:31 am

    That means the entire force of wokeism is going to be focused on one state’s attorney race in Florida, the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Pinellas and Pasco. Under the direction of ultra-proggie Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren, and financed with millions from George Soros, this effort aims at defeating Bruce Bartlett in favor of a Democrat whose only experience is as a public defender. So far, Bartlett and Sheriff Gualtieri have kept crime down in Pinellas, but it is the mission of Warren/Soros et al to change that. Remember “DeFund the Police”—well we have to fight that in Pinellas this year,. or we will lose our county.

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