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Palm Beach State Attorney Michael McAuliffe Won't Seek Reelection

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Was it the West Palm Beach cop-beating scandal? The steady exodus of prosecutors from his office? Or perhaps his spotty luck prosecuting corruption in the Riviera Beach Police Department?

Michael McAuliffe cited none of these setbacks in his official statement this morning saying he won't be seeking a second term as Palm Beach state attorney. But inquiring minds will certainly be gossiping for months about why the ambitious prosecutor bowed out of the race.

"Just announced McAuliffe will not seek reelection.... there is a god..... now it's Ric's turn,"

says the first anonymous comment on PBSOtalk.com, an online forum for Palm Beach County law enforcement folks, some of whom dislike Sheriff Ric Bradshaw as much as McAuliffe.

According to the statement he issued this morning, McAuliffe is abandoning the top prosecutor job because he has found a "compelling opportunity in the private sector." What that opportunity is, he won't say. But he does make a preemptive strike against critics who have always said he was a climber seeking higher political office.

"It was never my intention or ambition to be a long-term politician and I had always planned to re-enter the private sector after a period in public service," he writes.

Here's the full statement:

After much thought and reflection, I have made the difficult decision to not seek re-election. I ran for, and was elected, state attorney to help make the community safer and government more accountable. My goal was to be a proactive state attorney and an assertive, reform-minded leader in Palm Beach County. I believe that, working with Sheriff Ric Bradshaw and other law enforcement leaders, I have achieved the goals I outlined at the start of my tenure. It was never my intention or ambition to be a long-term politician and I had always planned to re-enter the private sector after a period in public service.

While I had remained open to, and had been pursuing, a second term as state attorney, a compelling opportunity in the private sector recently presented itself and caused me to re-evaluate my professional and personal goals. During this process, I have made the difficult decision to not seek another term.

While it is premature to comment of the details of this private sector opportunity, it became apparent to me that I must announce my decision to not seek re-election now so that others who may wish to seek the office will have the time and opportunity to do so.

I have been, and remain, very grateful for the opportunity to serve the community. I intend to remain focused on being a highly effective state attorney for my remaining time in office. Thank you.

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