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David Shoar to run in already heated GOP primary in SD 7

Former Sheriff of St. Johns David Shoar has filed for a vacant Senate seat in Northwest Florida.

The Republican from St. Augustine plans to run in Senate District 7, which will make for a high-profile Republican primary. MP Tom Leekwho previously only competed against former professional wrestlers Gerry James for the Republican nomination.

“I raised my right hand at 18 years old and was in public service from 18 to 59.5 years old,” Shoar said. “I was never in the cheap seats. I was always in the arena. I want to get back involved and I think my Republican friends could use some help in Tallahassee.”

Shoar, now 62, was sheriff for 16 years before decide to retire after four terms in office.

He has been working since March 2023 as head of investigations for a law firm Woolsey MorcomThis is particularly noteworthy since a political committee chaired by lawyer Woolsey Morcom Erika Alba has Execute attack ads against Leek on television and in letterboxes.

Shoar said he had no idea who was behind it The truth counts He is a member of the political committee and works part-time for the company. However, with an open Senate race looming, he expects a serious fight in the Republican primaries.

“I made my enemies. Leek made his enemies,” he said. “I wasn't even in the race and I was already being destroyed.”

Shoar’s name is noteworthy appeared in the headlines in December after a traffic stop when a police officer smelled marijuana in his car. Shoar, who has a prescription for medical cannabis, ultimately received a warning and called the matter “silly.”

Leek also has friends in Tallahassee. He was elected by the governor. Ron DeSantisand pretty has a confirmation from the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. This suggests that the Senate Republican caucus wants to add an incumbent congressman to its ranks and may devote significant resources to make this happen.

Shoar does not believe the group should play a role in the election campaign for a safe Republican seat.

“It's baffling to me that Republican senators in a fairly safe Republican district are running in a tightly contested Republican primary,” he said. “The truth is they should stay out of it and worry about their own elections.”

However, Shoar said he is somewhat suspicious of anyone in Tallahassee who claims to know what Republican voters in his district or in Florida as a whole want. He is not running to please specific lobbyists in Tallahassee who are in power.

“If you tell me you're a conservative, you have to define it. All definitions have changed,” he said.

“Republicanism is about limited government and taking as much power away from the federal government and state governments as possible. We've lost our way a little bit.”

Leek ran as a law and order candidate and campaigned with the support of every sitting sheriff in the district, but Shoar wonders if he can poach some of his supporters now that he's in the race.

“I didn't know Tom Leek thought so highly of sheriffs,” Shoar said. “My question to him is: Not that I'm in the race, but why am I not dropping out?”

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Anna Harden

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