Andrew Warren continues legal fight, but uncertainty over timing, election remains
Ron DeSantis, Andrew Warren. Image via AP.

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'My focus is not on running, it’s on serving.'

Andrew Warren, a Democrat, has won recent court battles. But he is still losing the war to regain his seat as Hillsborough County State Attorney.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, suspended him in August 2022, mainly over Warren’s decision to sign a pledge not to prosecute abortion-related cases in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. While a federal district court judge and a unanimous three-judge panel at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled the suspension violated Warren’s First Amendment rights, he hasn’t been reinstated.

DeSantis replaced Warren with Susan Lopez, a Republican. Last week DeSantis requested a full hearing before the 11th Circuit to appeal the ruling, which sent the case back to the lower court.

The delay in getting the case back to the federal district court in Tallahassee could upend the election for that seat in November.

Warren, who was elected by voters to the seat in 2016 and 2020, has said he won’t seek re-election this year, reasoning that DeSantis could simply suspend him again if he won.

But in a conference call with reporters Monday, Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried said she wants Warren to be reinstated and then jump into the race again.

“I certainly hope that Andrew reconsiders,” Fried said. “The people of Hillsborough County deserve the State Attorney that they elected.”

For his part, Warren said he’s only focused on winning in court and getting reinstated to his position.

“My focus is not on running, it’s on serving,” Warren said. “We will wait and see patiently to see what the court does.”

However, if the full 11th Circuit opts to hear the case, it could delay any resolution past the time for Warren to qualify for the race. The qualifying period for state attorney races in Florida starts April 22 at noon and ends April 26 at noon.

Fried said DeSantis and his lawyers were deliberately trying to delay the case, but insisted whatever the outcome, a Democrat will be running for the Hillsborough County State Attorney seat.

“Even if the clock runs out … it is still important to set this precedent (that DeSantis) has to follow the law,” Fried said. “We’ll have a strong Democratic candidate.”

Gray Rohrer


  • Louis Di Stefano

    January 29, 2024 at 12:57 pm

    This is why Nikki should never be Governor. This is a State issue. Instead of going through the process, Warren decided to go to Federal Court. Warren’s office was one of the worst run offices in Florida. The other DA removed was the only one run worse than Warren’s.

    • Cheesy Floridian

      January 29, 2024 at 5:50 pm

      Why was it the worst? Because descant is said so? Did you read the case and court ruling? There was no investigation done into Andrew and his office. It was word of mouth and the people spoken to were people who didn’t like Andrew or his policies. Get your facts straight desantis just doesn’t like the first amendment and wants to score political points

    • RonSucks

      January 29, 2024 at 11:34 pm

      DeSantis ignored the will of the voters, who twice elected Warren, in another lame attempt to score political points. Just like he did at Disney, losing a 1 BILLION DOLLAR plus development deal for Central Florida. DeSantis killed Florida’s “Resign to Run” law so he could chase his delusional presidential dreams. Personally I’d like to see him use vacation and sick time for that folly. Or pay us back. Tax payers shouldn’t be on the hook for his complete and total failure.

  • tom palmer

    January 29, 2024 at 6:21 pm

    Uh, if there is a constitutional violation, federal court IS where you go. DeSantis and his cronies will fight this and other issues such as denying the voter intent of amendments to the Florida Constitution that they do not like to the end.

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    January 29, 2024 at 6:43 pm

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  • KathrynA

    January 29, 2024 at 7:57 pm

    Warren was a good state attorney and was duly elected. He stated his opinion and many on the other side, state theirs on abortion, but they don’t get removed from office. It’s called freedom of speech and expression!

  • Lex

    January 30, 2024 at 8:20 am

    Someone running for State Attorney needs to understand the nature of the office they are running. They swear to enforce and uphold the laws that are passed, not just the laws they like. Andrew Warren, run for the office you actually want. State Attorney is a job; do not be political in that job. Andrew Warren if you want different laws, champion different laws, do not refuse to enforce them as State Attorney. The office just does not work that way.

Comments are closed.


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