Jeff Ashton talks about his congratulations from George Anthony

Ashton takes state attorney race over Lawson Lamar

ORLANDO, Fla. - Local 6 spoke to newly elected State Attorney Jeff Ashton on Wednesday a day after his win over incumbent Lawson Lamar--and his unexpected congratulations from George Anthony.

Ashton was part of the prosecution team his former boss appointed to handle the high-profile Casey Anthony case last year. Casey Anthony was acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

Minutes after reporters finished questioning newly-elected Orange / Osceola County State Attorney about the Anthony trial at his election night victory party, Anthony's father showed up to congratulate Ashton. George Anthony hugged Ashton, but the exchange was brief.

"He just showed up and shook my hand and congratulated me and he said he thought I deserved the win and I thanked him and asked him how his wife was and he said she was fine and that was about it," Ashton told Local 6 anchor Matt Austin. "It was really nice for him to come by."

You can watch Ashton's full interview with Local 6 by clicking here.

George Anthony told Local 6 just after talking to Ashton that there were some positive behind the scenes interactions he had with Ashton.

"I've known him outside the courtroom more than people know," George Anthony told Local 6 Tuesday night. "He's a passionate individual, he's gonna do everything the right way."

Ashton explained what Anthony was referring to Wednesday morning.

"You know I was the one who dealt with George the most I was the one doing the questioning and when we found out about the accusations that Casey was going to make against him we spent a lot of time talking about it and what I think he meant was I tried to help him through that and prepare for it," Ashton said.

When asked by Austin if he thought the trial bettered his chances of winning against Lamar, Ashton said he thought it made him appear as an equal choice for state attorney as Lamar.

"What the Casey Anthony trial did it made us equal. It made people be able to look at us side-by-side and make a choice as equal," Ashton said. "So that probably wouldn't have been possible without the Anthony case."

Watch Local 6 for more on this story.

Copyright 2012 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.