Ryan Torrens

AG candidates lassoed for Federalist’s Disney confab

Four candidates for attorney general are expected to appear together at a Federalist Society powwow near Orlando next month.

Democrat Ryan Torrens  and Republican Rep. Jay Fant of Jacksonville, Rep. Frank White of Pensacola and former Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ashley Moody have agreed to participate in a panel discussion on Feb. 3 as part of the annual Federalist Society Florida Chapters Conference at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Report in Lake Buena Vista, according to an announcement released Wednesday.

State Reps. Ross Spano, a Republican from Dover, and Sean Shaw, a Democrat from Tampa, have also invited, but have yet to reply, the Society noted on Wednesday.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to the Cabinet post last year and seeking re-election to the job, will appear at the conference on Feb. 2.

Two officials from President Donald Trump’s administration — EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta — and Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi are also slated to appear.

By Jim Turner and Dara Kam.

AG candidate cites recovery from alcoholism as a plus

torrensA history of alcohol or drug addiction can be an Achilles heel for candidates, especially those seeking to become the state’s top cop.

But Ryan Torrens, a Democrat running for attorney general, is outing himself as a person in recovery.

Torrens, 32, intends to address his recovery fro alcoholism Sunday morning on WFLA.

Torrens’s open discussion of his journey to sobriety — which he said in a press release included support from family, counseling, and “the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous” — might raise eyebrows for “friends of Bill,” as they’re known in AA circles.

But Torrens, a foreclosure lawyer who lives in Odessa, says his personal experiences with addiction would give him a unique perspective as attorney general while the state is grappling with an opioid epidemic.

He’s hoping his personal story will help others to come out of the shadows.

“Because I have personally experienced the challenges of addiction, I understand what our fellow Floridians are going through as they suffer with their addiction in secrecy,” Torrens said in an interview with The News Service Friday afternoon.

Read the Torrens press release after the jump. (more…)