ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Political newcomer Aramis Donell Ayalamade history Tuesday night as the first African American to be elected State Attorney in Florida’s history. She will be the Chief Prosecutor for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, which includes Orange and Osceola counties.
Ayala, 41, a former prosecutor in the Ninth Judicial Circuit and also a former public defender, led an aggressive message funded by the Florida Safety & Justice political action committee linked to liberal billionaire George Soros to unseat her former boss, Jeff Ashton, state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties.
Ashton became nationally known as a celebrity prosecutor in Casey Anthony’s high profile murder trial for killing her two-year-old daughter Caylee which ended in a not guilty verdict in 2011. Ashton later ran against his boss, Lawson Lamar, who has held his present post for six consecutive terms, and defeated Lamar in the August 2012 primary.
Soros’ PAC pumped $1 million into defeating incumbent Jeff Ashton in the Democratic primary for Orange-Osceola State Attorney, according to sources and state and federal records. Ayala said she never had any contact with Soros.
After defeating Ashton in the Florida primary, in August and winning the general election against write-in candidate William Voss, a former Orange-Osceola prosecutor, State Attorney-elect Ayala told supporters on election night that she’s ready to get to work.
There are currently twenty judicial circuits in Florida which are headed by an elected State Attorney, includes:
Circuit | State Attorney | City
- WILLIAM EDDINS – PENSACOLA
- WILLIAM N. MEGGS – TALLAHASSEE
- JEFFREY A. SIEGMEISTER – LIVE OAK
- ANGELA B. COREY – JACKSONVILLE
- BRAD KING – OCALA
- BERNIE MCCABE – CLEARWATER
- R. J. LARIZZA – DAYTONA BEACH
- WILLIAM CERVONE – GAINESVILLE
- JEFFREY L. ASHTON – ORLANDO
- JERRY HILL – BARTOW
- KATHERINE FERNANDEZ RUNDLE – MIAMI
- ED BRODSKY – SARASOTA
- MARK A. OBER – TAMPA
- GLENN HESS – PANAMA CITY
- DAVID A. ARONBERG – WEST PALM BEACH
- CATHERINE F. VOGEL – KEY WEST
- MICHAEL J. SATZ – FORT LAUDERDALE
- PHILIP G. ARCHER – VIERA
- BRUCE H. COLTON – FORT PIERCE
- STEPHEN RUSSELL – FORT MYERS