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Former State Attorney Considering Congressional Bid

kenneth lewis lawyer, kenneth lewis attorney, attorney kenneth lewis, jeff ashton, john mica, stephanie murphy, ray valdes, seminole county post, seminole county news, news seminole county, jacob engels,

Kenneth Lewis, a top prosecutor for several decades, might throw his hat into the ring in the race to take out Democratic freshmen Stephanie Murphy.

 

By Jacob Engels

 

With Republicans in Central Florida still reeling from the loss of veteran Congressman John Mica, political circles have been abuzz wondering who could snatch the seat back in 2018.

 

Defense attorney Kenneth Lewis, who was the Chief Homicide Prosecutor in the Orange/Osceola County State Attorney's office, has confirmed to the Seminole County Post that he is looking at what it would take to mount a credible campaign for the GOP nomination.

 

"Twenty years in the courtroom teach you a lot about what it takes to win the greater battle, negotiating the smaller things, and backing up your points with concrete evidence," Lewis told us by text message late Wednesday afternoon.

 

The veteran homicide prosecutor was ousted from the State Attorney's office after refusing to be part of Jeff Ashton's culture of corruption and office politics.

 

Lewis' years long rift with the attention-hogging State Attorney culminated in Ashton using a private Facebook status posted by Lewis as a means to fire him.

 

His status, made after the Pulse tragedy, was politically charged and certainly not politically correct.

 

Everyone I have spoken to regarding Ashton's allegations against Lewis that have pegged him as racially insensitive, say the painfully ineffective Ashton is "way off base," with his attacks on Lewis.

 

Longwood Attorney Brian Byrd, who also worked as a prosecutor in the Orange/Osceola County State Attorney's office, says the grabby news-headlines about Lewis were a "stunt".

 

"Virtually everyone in that office was appalled at what Ashton was doing. Ken is a champion of minorities and the LGBT community," communicated Byrd, who said many were afraid to speak out for fear of being fired themselves.

 

As an openly gay conservative, I can affirm that my interactions with Lewis have made it quite clear that he is an ally of the LGBT community.

 

Mr. Byrd came close to being elected to the Seminole Soil and Water board in the November elections.

 

SIDE-NOTE: Those not acquainted with Jeff Ashton's culture of corruption and abuse of power, this article paints a very clear picture.

 

Internal evaluations of Lewis' job performance by his peers demonstrated that he always conducted himself professionally, was "willing to help" other lawyers, was a "master" in the courtroom and a "go-to mentor."

 

It's those high marks and experience as a prosecutor in government corruption cases that make Lewis an outspoken and credible candidate for Florida's 7th congressional district.

 

Lewis is also a longtime resident of Central Florida, having lived in the area for well over a decade.

 

He was the only attorney with the balls to represent me after I was aggressively attacked by disgraced former Seminole County Tax Collector Ray Valdes, who will go down as one of the area's most corrupt politicians to hold elected office since the county formed over 100 years ago.

 

"I've always been a crusader in anything that I do. I'm not perfect, nobody is. Like President-elect Trump, political correctness is uninteresting and wasteful to me," Lewis explained.

 

Before becoming the Chief Homicide Prosecutor for Orange and Osceola, Mr. Lewis was a sales and marketing manager for Athem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, where he says he gained "extensive experience" on labor issues and how to handle union groups.

 

"Having Jeff Ashton target me personally because of his fear that I would run against him was an unpleasant and taxing experience for my family.

 

What's done is done, politics can get nasty. With Congressman Mica's defeat, I have talked about the idea of running with my family, what it could mean, and how to do it in a bold fashion."

 

Ultimately, the former prosecutor and successful criminal defense attorney is not sure if he wants to walk away from his "booming" private practice.

 

Political consultant Jonathan Swift confirmed that there are several credible players who are also testing the waters.

 

Swift is a longtime GOP campaign operative who has helped successfully elect people like Congresswoman Sandy Adams and Orange County Commissioner Ted Edwards.

 

We profiled 4+ candidates who could potentially run for the seat weeks back, and that is "only half" of whom might jump in, according to Swift.

 

"Wildcard candidates like Mr. Lewis are going to make this race very interesting. We need a full primary to make sure the Republican party can bury "Pelosigirl" Stephanie Murphy."

 

The Seminole County Post will continue to evaluate candidates who emerge in Florida's 7th congressional district through the end of the year.

 

If elected, Lewis vowed to make his first piece of legislation a bill that would ban lawyers from contributing to judicial candidates.

 

He called the current practice a breeding ground for "corrupt quid-pro-quo scenarios" between judges craving a campaign check, and lawyers seeking to curry favor with those sitting on the bench.

 

 

Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. His work through these publications has been showcased in hundreds of publications and news outlets in the state of Florida, the United States, and around the globe. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at [email protected]

 

 

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