50ºF

Jeff Ashton loses 9th Circuit Court state attorney race to Aramis Ayala

9th Circuit serves Orange, Osceola counties

Orange and Osceola County State Attorney Jeff Ashton will not be working another term.

The incumbent lost to Aramis Ayala Tuesday night by a little more than 11,000 votes.

Ayala admitted the race had its challenges.

"It was certainly an uphill battle, but anything worth moving for and fighting for is not going to be simple," said Ayala.

Ashton made it clear in August during a news conference he did not favor Ayala or her experience, saying that her campaign was backed in large part by funds from a New York billionaire's political action committee.

"My opponent needs the money because she has neither the qualifications, the community support of the character to win this election" said Ashton.

"At the end of the day money doesn't vote. People vote. So, when it comes to the election the people considered my platform. The people know that my voice resonated with them," said Ayala.

Ashton gave a brief written statement Tuesday after his loss saying, "The voters decided today that they price of the state attorney's seat it $1.4 million in lies. I'm deeply disappointed in this result but I stand by the good work of my office and the folks who work here".

News 6 called and emailed Ashton's office Wednesday asking what his next move will be.

His office responded by saying Ashton was not available to talk but they did release this statement:

"Mr. Ashton is proud of what he and the hard-working employees of this office have achieved. He will fulfill his constitutional obligations and duties for the remainder of his term."

Ayala says she is not focused on Ashton's money win accusations.

Now, she says her focus is on November.

She's facing write in, Bill Vost.

An opponent who has in the past expressed his support for her.

History suggests no write in has ever won a state attorney's election.

When asked if this could be a ploy to take the win in November, Ayala says she's not one to play games.

"I don't play political games. My campaign and me as a candidate have continued to focus on issues. I haven't focused on the presence or absence of candidates," said Ayala.