The Democratic primary for attorney general will serve mainly to generate more public exposure for state Sen. Walter "Skip" Campbell of Tamarac. His opponent, Fort Lauderdale lawyer Merrilee Ehrlich, apparently intended it that way.
Campbell, 57, is a successful Broward trial lawyer who has managed to rise to leadership positions in the Republican-controlled Senate, and he promises to bring new vigor to the office by taking on consumer issues, sexual predators and companies that are failing to live up to their lucrative state contracts. In November, he will face a high-stakes showdown with Republican Bill McCollum, a former congressman who is now a Washington lobbyist. But, for now, Campbell's name will appear on the Democratic primary ballot alongside that of a woman who contributed $200 to his campaign.
Campbell acknowledges he was approached by a political consultant who argued that a primary opponent would produce more statewide exposure and free advertising, but says he rejected that advice. The consultant, apparently, decided to pursue it anyway. "I honestly believe she thinks she's helping," Campbell says.
Ehrlich, 55, has conducted no campaign, and this is no race. The Times recommends Skip Campbell in the Democratic primary for attorney general.