Trial lawyer-supported political committee backs TV ad promoting David Shoar in SD 7
David Shoar. Screenshot from The Truth Matters TV ad aired on June 12.

David Shoar
The Truth Matters political committee reported that all of its money comes through a separate trial lawyer-backed committee.

A political committee funding attack ads on Tom Leek now has television ads openly supporting his GOP Primary opponent, David Shoar.

The Truth Matters has ads up in Senate District 7 promoting Shoar, who just filed in the open Senate race there.

“Shoar shares our conservative values and is ready to lead,” the ad states, showing still images of the former St. Johns County Sheriff. The spot also shows photos of Shoar with former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for President this year.

The political committee went on television before, funding ads painting Leek, now a Representative from Ormond Beach, as a liberal. That prompted speculation as to who was behind the committee, with sources pointing their finger at trial lawyers and specifically at Ponte Vedra law firm Woolsey Morcom, where both The Truth Matters Chair Erika Alba and Shoar work.

Shoar, speaking to Florida Politics about his candidacy, said he remained uncertain about who was behind the political committee, but acknowledged Alba worked at the same firm. Shoar works there as director of investigations, which he said was a part-time job.

The Truth Matters this week filed financial reports for the first time since the committee’s April 1 formation. But every dollar reported came from another political committee, Floridians for Accountability, Freedom and Opportunity. The Venice-based committee funneled $1.92 million to The Truth Matters over three installments in April and May.

Like The Truth Matters, that committee is chaired by prominent Republican political accountant Eric Robinson. It was formed in December, and has since raised more than $2.8 million, primarily from law firms across the state.

Its only expenditures, besides donations to The Truth Matters, were for accounting services with Robinson and other financial expenses. The firm has paid more than $16,000 for field services with Oviedo-based Merus Strategies, but all that money was refunded in April days after The Truth Matters formed.

The largest donor was Pacjic & Pacjic, a personal injury law firm based in Jacksonville. That firm donated $250,000. But several other law firms from around the state also made six-figure donations to the organization, confirming trial lawyers as the primary force behind attacks.

Stewart Tilghman Fox Bianchi & Cain in Miami donated $120,000 to the Floridians for Accountability committee. Burnetti in Lakeland gave $110,000, as did Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen.

Five other donors gave $100,000. That included Kemp Law Group in Trinity, Farah & Farah in Jacksonville and Swope, Rodante in Ybor City, all law firms specializing in personal injury claims. Lawyer Francoise Haasch’s private practice in Palm Harbor also donated as much, and Jacksonville lawyer Wayne Hogan wrote a six-figure check personally to the cause.

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].


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  • Ed Slavin

    June 13, 2024 at 2:18 pm

    David Shoar will make a great senator. He was a public servant for a long time. He knows wtf is going on and he’s competent. Nice guy too. Vote Shoar in 2024.

  • Kristen Adams

    June 24, 2024 at 8:06 pm

    Sheriff Shoar does not care about anything except his only personal agenda. On his watch, Sheriffs got away with killing their wives and process servers got smashed over the head and when they complained they were dismissed. He is a person that does not allow anyone into his office. He is private- he is prejudiced, & a law enforcement advocate and not the kind of man that we want to be representing the people- he only represents one percent of St. John’s County.

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