Palm Beach County voters will now have a choice when it comes to electing the next state attorney.
Robert Gershman announced his candidacy for the position Wednesday, which pits him against Democrat Dave Aronberg.
Gershman is a criminal defense lawyer who also served as a prosecutor for the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office in the early 1990s.
He says his years serving on both sides of the law set him apart from Aronberg.
"When the State Attorney sits at the head of the table and makes decisions about the death penalty, I am the only one with experience to make those decisions," said Gershman. "My opponent has no such experience at all."
Gershman said he approached leaders of the Democratic Party about running as a Democrat. He claims party leaders told him he didn't have a chance, and instead offered him a state Senator position in return for walking away from the race.
Gershman said that was motivation for him to run as an independent. He admits it will be an uphill battle to beat the highly funded and widely popular Aronberg, who has already raised $275,000 toward his campaign.
NewsChannel 5 Political Analyst Robert Watson says Gershman will be hard-pressed to raise half that amount, but adds the political climate could help an outsider.
"Congress has historically low approval ratings, the Florida legislature and the governor are maligned, running as an outsider is good, rather than the usual liability of not being an incumbent," says Watson.
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