Jessica M. Karmasek Oct. 28, 2013, 2:00pm

ORLANDO, Fla. (Legal Newsline) -- State Rep. Perry Thurston, the current Democratic Party leader in the Florida House, is running for state attorney general next year.

Thurston, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer, made the announcement over the weekend at the Florida Democrats' annual conference at the Disney Yacht and Beach Club Resort, according to The Florida Times-Union.

Thurston, who is term-limited, first expressed his interest in running for the office in June.

He is the first Democrat to enter the race.

Last week, George Sheldon, who recently resigned his post as the acting assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced his candidacy.

Sheldon will compete with current Attorney General Pam Bondi for the GOP nomination.

Bondi was a relative newcomer when she was elected as the state's top lawyer in 2010.

The former Tampa prosecutor -- and frequent commentator on Fox News -- narrowly defeated Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp in a three-way primary, and went on to beat state Sen. Dan Gelber to become attorney general.

She announced in July she is running for reelection.

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