"I'm very proud of the work we have done over the past three years to bring the office into the 21st century," Ashton, who was elected in 2012, says in a statement. "But our work is not done. Our office must evolve as criminals to find new ways to commit crimes."
Ashton, who is perhaps best known for prosecuting Casey Anthony, was in the national spotlight last year after a local website called the East Orlando Post
revealed that had an account with the website Ashley Madison
, which helped married men and women hook up for extramarital affairs. Ashton admitted that he'd used the site, and that he'd even accessed it via a public wifi connection at work. During a teary-eyed press conference in August, he publicly apologized for the debacle.
"I deeply regret my affiliation with the site, which has caused a great amount of stress and heartache to my wife and children," he said at the time. "I want to publicly apologize to each of them for this embarrassment and for my blatant disregard for their feelings. ... While I indulged my curiosity about the site, it never went beyond that.”
Ashton's announcement today focused on the "technological makeover" of the State Attorney's office during his tenure (he was elected in 2012), his work to increase the diversity of his office and his focus on domestic violence.
“I have some of the best attorneys in the state," he says in a press release that went out today. "We have decreased our acquittal rate significantly because we have given our attorneys the tools to succeed and made them responsible for charging decisions. They are actively encouraged to take cases to trial, and we are getting justice for victims.”
Ashton's campaign was not immediately available for comment Thursday afternoon, but if we hear something, we will update this post.
Orange-Osceola State Attorney Jeff Ashton announced Thursday he filed paperwork to run for re-election this year, according to a press release from FOCUS Strategies.