Florida Gov. Bob Martinez (R) tried last week to take some of the spotlight that has been on the Democratic side of the gubernatorial race since former senator Lawton Chiles became a candidate in April. Martinez began his first full week of campaigning for reelection by tapping Monroe County Sheriff Allison DeFoor II as his running mate, calling the GOP ticket "a team for the future."
In naming DeFoor, 36, as his candidate for lieutenant governor, Martinez has selected a former county judge once publicly reprimanded by the state Supreme Court for three counts of misconduct, but the Martinez campaign does not see that as a liability. "We don't agree with the Supreme Court on everything, and this was another of those things," Martinez said. "I don't see this as a problem."
As a judge in 1986, DeFoor was reprimanded by the state's high court for campaigning for candidates who were friends, ordering probationers to wear electronic monitors made by a firm in which he had a financial interest and withholding judgment on drivers accused of speeding if they paid twice the standard fine.
The Judicial Qualifications Commission recommended against DeFoor's dismissal from the bench, reporting that his "contrite demeanor, cooperation and acknowledgement of the seriousness" of the charges showed he regretted his actions.
"The bottom line was that I was determined to be fit to remain a judge," DeFoor said. "And that's a lot higher standard than being a lieutenant governor."