Ashton Beats Ex-Boss, Longtime Incumbent Lamar
Former prosecutor Jeff Ashton easily beat his former boss and long time incumbent Lawson Lamar, in a closely watched and at times contentious race, to become the next Orange-Osceola County State Attorney.
Lamar, in perhaps a concession speech said, he is proud of the work his office had done and will continue to do until January 6, 2013, when he hands over to his successor. He has held the position of State Attorney for 24 years.
Ashton, for his part said, he was grateful to all those who had cast their votes for him.
“This has been an amazing experience for me,” he said at his victory party. “It has been so gratifying for me.”
Ashton also jokingly thanked all those Republicans who voted for him – a Democrat – for the first time.
The race between Lamar and Ashton, two Democrats, was an open primary, with no Republicans on the ballot.
Ashton said once he assumes office, he plans to reach out to all communities to get input on how to make the State Attorney’s office better. This was one of his campaign promises. He also plans on bringing an end to cronyism, instituting instead a proper evaluation system, where people are promoted on the basis of performance and output.
Throughout his campaign, Ashton insisted that morale in the State Attorney’s office is low, something which Lamar repeatedly disputed. Ashton said, he planned on working to improve morale within the office.