Abbe Sheila Rifkin, State Attorney’s Office. Photo: J. Albert Diaz/ALM.

The Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission has recommended three nominees for statewide prosecutor to serve under Attorney General-elect Ashley Moody after she takes office in January 2019.

The statewide prosecutor serves a four-year term and is responsible for prosecuting crimes that span more than two judicial circuits.

Here’s a look at the candidates:

Incumbent Nicholas B. “Nick” Cox was appointed statewide prosecutor in 2011 after serving nine years as assistant state attorney in Hillsborough County and six as an attorney in the Office of the Attorney General, led by Pam Bondi, who selected him for the post.

“Nick Cox is an accomplished courtroom lawyer with the ideal judgment, temperament and experience to lead the Office of Statewide Prosecution,” Bondi said in a press release at the time.

Abbe S. Rifkin has served the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office since 1981 and specializes in sexual violence cases. Rifkin has prosecuted an array of capital crimes and high-profile cases, and teaches trial advocacy at Florida International University.

Rifkin won the Florida Association of Women Lawyers Rosemary Barkett outstanding achievement award in 2016.

Private defense lawyer Jason D. Winn in Tallahassee specializes in criminal, governmental and administrative law. Winn began his career as a public defender in 2001, representing defendants in juvenile, misdemeanor and felony cases before opening his own trial practice in 2006.

Incoming Attorney General Moody will fulfill the statewide prosecutor’s duties until she appoints a replacement.


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