Kottkamp running for A.G.

TALLAHASSEE — Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp is officially a candidate for attorney general, filing paperwork Monday to become the first major Republican to get in the race.

After filing the papers, he attended an event marking the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and the first astronauts to walk on the moon, but said very little about his political plans.

“I really didn’t want to detract too much from what I think is a great commemorative event,” said Kottkamp, who is chairman of the board for Space Florida.

Kottkamp, 48, worked much of his career as a trial lawyer before he and Gov. Charlie Crist were elected in 2006. He was a partner at Morgan & Morgan, one of the state’s largest personal injury law firms, for two years and spent 14 years with the Fort Myers law firm Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt.

“Serving as attorney general will certainly be a culmination of a lot of experiences I’ve had in my life and something I feel very passionate about, but first and foremost is that I’m going to focus on being lieutenant governor,” he said, adding that he’ll make a formal announcement Wednesday.

Kottkamp was elected to the state House in 2000 and served three terms. He chaired the Judiciary Committee for two years. Among crime bills he sponsored that later became law was a measure that allows the attorney general to file lawsuits against businesses that discriminate.

Kottkamp has chaired the Children and Youth Cabinet and has oversight of the Office of Drug Control and Office of Adoption and Child Protection.

Current Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican, is running for governor instead of seeking a second term. Democrats running for the position are Sen. David Aronberg of Greenacres and Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach.