House Leader Fentrice Driskell and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor endorse Andrew Warren for re-election

by | May 29, 2024

Former State Attorney Andrew Warren’s re-election campaign received endorsements from prominent figures including House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell and Congresswoman Kathy Castor.

Former State Attorney Andrew Warren’s re-election campaign received endorsements on Wednesday from House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell, Congresswoman Kathy Castor, among other regional political figures.

“I’m honored to have the support of so many community leaders who recognize the success I’ve had over the last eight years making Hillsborough County much safer, fighting for victims, and improving our criminal justice system—while also standing up to the governor’s attacks on the values and freedoms of all Floridians,” Warren said.

In addition to Driskell and Castor, Warren received endorsements Hon. Alex Sink, Hon. Betty Castor, Hon. Arthenia Joyner, Public Defender Julianne Holt, Clerk of Courts Cindy Stuart, and County Commissioners Harry Cohen, Pat Kemp, and Gwen Myers.

Warren’s announced the launch of his campaign announcement last month, reversing a prior statement given in January that declared he would not run. At the time, Warren’s decision was largely attributed to concerns that if he were reelected, Gov. Ron DeSantis might again suspend him and appoint a political substitute.

“I have been planning to run for re-election since the day I was suspended. But the governor has made clear that he does not care about the will of the voters or our democracy, and that he is willing to break state and federal law to keep me from serving as State Attorney,” Warren said in January.

In August 2022, DeSantis accused Warren of incompetence and dereliction of duty, leading to Warren’s dismissal through an Executive Order. The governor specifically cited Warren’s refusal to enforce the state’s new abortion law and his signing of letters stating he would not enforce laws prohibiting sex changes for minors. This suspension became highly politicized and was viewed as a significant action by DeSantis, who highlighted Warren’s removal during a Republican primary debate.

During a September 2022 interview with The Capitolist, Warren criticized the timing of his suspension, suggesting that it was predicated on what he referred to as DeSantis’ political ambition to run for president.

In January, a federal lawsuit seeking to reappoint Warren was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle. In issuing the order, however, Hinkle noted that DeSantis violated Warren’s First Amendment rights, but that he was unable to preside over the case due to the 11th Amendment of the Constitution, which states that the Judicial power of the United States can’t extend to any suit dealing with state law.

Following an appeal to the Florida Supreme Court, Warren’s case was dismissed after the Justices cited an “unreasonable delay.”

The Court noted that Warren filed a lawsuit in federal court shortly after his suspension, seeking a writ of quo warranto (a legal action to challenge someone’s right to hold office) based on the claim that the suspension order was insufficient under Florida law. However, when the federal court dismissed the challenge, Warren waited close to five months before filing the petition with the state Supreme Court, with Justices claiming they were not provided with any explanation for the delay. The court concluded that considering the circumstances, it was too late for them to review the case.


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