Casey Anthony Prosecutor Jeff Ashton Defeats Former Boss Lawson Lamar in Open Primary Last Night 54.5% to 45.5% for Orange-Osceola State Attorney Race
Shocking upset victory in Orange-Osceola State Attorney race …
Jeff Ashton, one of the lead prosecutors in the Casey Anthony murder trial that captivated Florida and the country upset and defeated his former boss Lawson Lamar in a often heated campaign. The 54 year old Ashton defeated the five term, 70 year old Orange-Osceola State Attorney Lawson by a 54.5% to 45.5% margin. Initially, few gave Jeff Ashton a chance against the incumbent Lamar when Ashton first announced he would run for the 9th Circuit state attorney position. And talk about your bizarre election congratulations, George Anthony, the father of Casey Anthony, actually showed up last night at Ashton’s election eve gathering and congratulated Ashton on his victory.
After a hard-fought and often heated campaign, Jeff Ashton unseated his former boss, Lawson Lamar, in an open primary Tuesday with 54.5 percent of the vote to his opponent’s 45.5 percent. The result likely means a major shake-up at the State Attorney’s Office, which Lamar has headed for six consecutive terms.
I think the difference is that [the community is] going to see a state attorney who is involved more than just every four years,” Ashton said from his victory party at Friendly Confines in Winter Park. “There is this isolation where the community wasn’t being talked to, wasn’t being listened to. One of the things that I hope to be is a state attorney for everyone, and to listen to everybody to help solve the problems that we have.”
Ashton will now assume the powerful but often behind-the-scenes job of overseeing all prosecutions in the Ninth Judicial Circuit and an office with more than 140 attorneys and a $25 million budget.
Ironically enough, Lawson Lamar conceded the election at his campaign gathering in downtown Orlando, where among his supporters was prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick, who with Ashton handled the Casey Anthony murder trial in the death of Casey Anthony. Looks like LDB was on the losing side again. Ashton unsuccessfully prosecuted the Casey Anthony case as some how a clueless jury found the tot mom Casey Anthony “not guilty as sin” in the murder of her daughter Casey. As reported at WFTV9, Jeff Ashton has described his team’s loss in the Anthony trial as Lamar’s failure, one in a string of prosecutorial flops that have contributed to the office’s 50% conviction rate.
You judge a management system by how successful it is,” said Ashton, who worked as a prosecutor for 30 years before retiring last summer, shortly after Anthony’s acquittal. “Citizens expect their prosecutors to choose their cases well and then do their best to win them. I don’t think voters accept this idea that, ‘Hey, winning doesn’t really matter.’”
Wow, and now for something completely different … George Anthony actually came to Ashton’s election night HQ celebration gathering and congratulated Jeff Ashton on his victory. Truth is stranger than fiction and when it comes to the Anthony’s nothing gets more bizarre or strange. George Anthony showed his support for the man who was trying to put his daughter Casey on death row. You just can’t make this stuff up. VIDEO of George Anthony’s rational as to why he showed up to thank Ashton.
But outside Ashton’s campaign headquarters Tuesday night, George Anthony showed nothing but support for the man who once tried to send his daughter to death row.
“He’s going to do everything the right way,” said George Anthony. “He wants to be in the courtroom. He wants to direct, he wants to be involved in every single case, and I think he will be. You can’t just direct everything behind a desk.”