Assistant state attorney wins open judicial seat

Sean Brewer, a prosecutor with more than 20 years of experience, won the run-off for the Florida Eighth Judicial Circuit group 12 seat. 

In the August primary, Brewer had been the top vote getter in the four-person primary with 37.5% of the vote, but he did not earn enough votes to win the seat outright. 

In Tuesday’s run-off, he beat AuBroncee Martin, who is the current felony division chief in the Eighth Circuit’s Office of the Public Defender, by gathering 84,326 votes—nearly double Martin’s number of votes, according to the Florida Department of State’s unofficial election results. 

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The Eighth Judicial Circuit includes Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union counties. Brewer won the vote in all six counties, but the race became especially lopsided in the counties outside of Alachua. Brewer won Alachua County with 55.69% of the vote but won 81% to 90% of the vote in the five other counties in the circuit. 

Alachua County provided Martin with 35,967 of his 42,446. The remaining five counties added less than 6,500 votes combined to his total.  

Brewer has served as an assistant state attorney for the Eighth Circuit since 1998. Over the years, he’s been the division chief for three separate divisions: felony crimes, crimes against women and children, and felony gun crimes. 

“Our job as a prosecutor is not to represent one client. It’s to seek justice,” Brewer said at a candidate forum in October. “That’s very similar to what the job is for judge.” 

Brewer also promised on the campaign trail that he would be fair and impartial on the bench. 

Florida’s circuit courts handle felony criminal cases, juvenile cases and civil cases involving more than $30,000, according to the Florida Courts website. Tax, property and estate cases also come before circuit judges. 

Brewer will take Judge Monica Brasington’s spot when her current six-year term expires in January. Brasington, who was originally appointed in 2013 to finish out the term of a judge who died, announced early in the year that she would not seek another term. 

Currently, Brasington presides over cases in the Eighth Circuit’s civil division and has ruled on several high-profile cases, including Gainesville’s vaccine mandate and a school board member’s residency issue

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