BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Criminal defense attorney Alton Edmond — one of the organizers of a justice rally that drew over 3,000 people to the Space Coast last weekend — announced Tuesday his intention to challenge Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.
Edmond, a 30-year-old, self-described community servant, turned in paperwork with the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Office Tuesday afternoon, becoming the Democratic challenger for the county’s top law enforcement officer just three days shy of the deadline to file for the race. Ivey had been running unopposed.
The position pays more than $162,000 a year and oversees operations at the Brevard County Jail Complex, courthouse security, animal services and Port Canaveral. In 2018, the agency had an annual budget of $134.06 million.
Edmond, a charismatic lawyer raised in Clewiston, has worked in Brevard since 2013, first taking a job as an assistant public defender after graduating from Florida A&M College of Law and passing the bar on his first effort. The trial lawyer founded Edmond Law in 2017, representing defendants and businesses.
Edmond was released from the office — which then had three minority attorneys — after controversy over him wearing a “Black Lives Matter” tie. He then opened his own law firm.
In the past, Edmond has discussed his firm belief in the Second Amendment while emphasizing community service ties, working with children, and being a motivational speaker.
In recent weeks, Edmond has spoken out about the need for more accountability in public service, as well as greater civility and transparency.
Edmond joined several other Cocoa civic leaders to organize Saturday's March for Justice rally. The event — called in response to the death of George Floyd as a Minneapolis police officer placed his knee on his neck — drew thousands of people and raised awareness about Gregory Edwards, a former US Army combat medic who died in December 2018 after a confrontation with seven corrections deputies at the Brevard County Jail.
Edmond is expected to publicly announce his run for the Sheriff’s Office later this week.
Ivey, running for a third term, was first elected in 2012 and has carefully built a national profile as a media-savvy, pro-gun law enforcement officer.