Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg has taken himself out of consideration to be the next U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, opting to remain in the role he has held since 2013.
In a letter addressed in May to U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott and local U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel and Frederica Wilson, Aronberg announced he would not seek the top federal prosecutor position, urging lawmakers instead to consider a Black candidate for the job.
“I have tremendous respect for our federal partners in the Southern District of Florida, and am honored by reports that I am being considered for the position of United States Attorney,” he wrote.
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“I did not, however, apply for the position because I love my current job and believe that our current national climate calls for a history-making appointment of the first Black U.S. Attorney from Florida.”
President Biden will select nominee for Southern Florida’s U.S. Attorney
Aronberg was elected to a third term as Palm Beach County State Attorney in 2020, running unopposed for reelection. Juan Antonio Gonzalez is currently serving as the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
Gonzalez replaced former U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan, who resigned in March after President Joe Biden took office. She was nominated for the office by then President Donald Trump in 2018 and confirmed that year by the U.S. Senate. Orshan was the first woman to serve as the Southern District of Florida’s top federal prosecutor.
Biden will select the next U.S Attorney, pending confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
Aronberg longtime fixture in Palm Beach County politics
Aronberg, now 50, is a South Florida native who has held elected office in Palm Beach County since 2002, when he won election to the state Senate.
He made a bid for the Democratic nomination for Florida attorney general in 2010. He won election as state attorney in 2012, replacing Michael McAuliffe.
The announcement to withdraw his name from considering comes after The Palm Beach Post reported in April that Aronberg had blocked a search warrant sought in the insurance fraud investigation into a Delray Beach police lieutenant.
The Post also reported how Aronberg had possibly violated the state’s open records law in withholding memos on cases closed by his public corruption unit.
Gregg Lerman, a West Palm Beach attorney, said Aronberg has appeared more focused on his side gig as a commentator for cable news networks. His opinions expressed on television could have come up in the vetting process for U.S. attorney and eventually in a confirmation hearing, Lerman said.
“I think it’s a combination of him looking at the landscape as to who else was putting their names in as well as the possibility that there may have been things espoused by him as a CNN commentator that could come back to haunt him.”