MANATEE -- Republican Ed Brodsky beat Democrat John Torraco Tuesday to become the first new state attorney of the 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida since retiring six-termer Earl Moreland got the job in 1988.
According to the Florida Division of Elections website, Brodsky was leading with 54 percent of the vote to Torraco's 45 percent.
The 12th Judicial District is comprised of Manatee, Sarasota and Desoto counties.
In Manatee County, with all precincts reporting, Brodsky had 75,993 votes, or 56.5 percent, while Torraco had 58,407 votes, or 43.6 percent.
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Brodsky was tired, but happy Tuesday night as he was surrounded by his wife, Kim, and children Evan, 14 and Alexa, 11, at a victory party at the Sarasota Hyatt.
"It was 21 months long months," Brodsky said. "On Wednesday I'm just going to stay home and let it soak in."
When he does become state attorney, Brodsky said the first thing he plans to do is focus on 6 percent of criminals who cause, he said, 60 percent of all the crime in the circuit.
Brodsky didn't refer to Torraco Tuesday and the often bitter battle they waged.
"I am most proud of how our supporters took the high road throughout this election," Brodsky said.
A call to Torraco was not immediately returned.
Brodsky will now inherit a state attorney's office composed of 160 total staff and 72 attorneys working out of offices in Bradenton, Sarasota, Venice and Arcadia.
The office's job is to decide whether to initiate and prosecute criminal charges.
Brodsky is currently Moreland's chief assistant and has spent 20 years in the state attorney's office, working in all levels and divisions, including felony, misdemeanor and juvenile. A career prosecutor, Brodsky has personally handled 120 trials.
In the Aug. 14 Republican primary, Brodsky beat Peter Lombardo who turned some Republican heads by later deciding to endorse Torraco.
During the campaign, Brodsky challenged Torraco's experience, liking him to someone who has to learn on the job from Day One, while Torraco, who teaches law at State College of Florida, maintained that Brodsky was so deeply enmeshed in an incompetent state attorney's machine that he would never be willing or able to purge it and begin anew.
Brodsky vowed during the campaign to continue to attack gangs in partnership with a statewide prosecutor.
Other priorities for Brodsky include attacking the prescription pill epidemic, exploitation of the elderly and white collar crime,
Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube and Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski endorsed Brodsky.