Vowing to protect the constitutional rights of all Floridians and to guard them from what he calls the “excesses of the federal government,” State Representative Jay Fant of Jacksonville became the first candidate to announce he will seek the office of state Attorney General next year.
“I will fight for the Constitution, especially the First and Second Amendments, and the sanctity of life,” Fant told reporters at a Tuesday morning news conference at the state Capitol in Tallahassee, the first stop in a four city tour of the state to announce his candidacy. “I highlight the First and Second Amendments because those are the bellwether for our freedom and when you attack those freedoms you attack America itself.”
The 49-year-old Fant is serving his second term as state representative for District 15 after first being elected in 2014. One of the issues he ran on during that campaign was his opposition to the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare.
“I was criticized for running on a federal issue. But, it is a state issue,” Fant said. “We are the states. We have sovereignty and, as the attorney general, I would defend our state’s rights every step of the way.”
Fant says he generally opposes efforts to speed up the process of restoring civil rights to convicted felons, who must currently wait at least five years after they are released from prison before their rights can be restored.
He also says he is an adamant supporter of the state’s death penalty.
“I do take it very seriously,” Fant said. “I think it’s a legitimate form of punishment. When you take a life you forfeit your own life.”
Fant is running for the seat currently held by current Attorney General Pam Bondi who is prevented from running again due to term limits. He pledges to continue the fight that Bondi began against such problems as prescription drug abuse and human trafficking.
A 1994 graduate of the University of Florida law school, Fant has four children.
He acknowledges his name might not be well-known outside of the Jacksonville area, but he hopes to change that by launching a grassroots campaign and spending a lot of time on the road getting to know Florida voters.