Former head of state health care to challenge Kottkamp for attorney general

— Holly Benson is running for attorney general after stepping down as the head of the state agency that regulates hospitals and nursing homes.

Benson announced Thursday she will challenge Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp for the Republican nomination to replace Bill McCollum, who is running for governor.

Before leading the Agency for Health Care Administration, Benson was the head of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. She also served in the House, representing the Pensacola area.

She said as attorney general, she wants to work to make sure state regulations don’t restrict business growth. She also said her role at AHCA would make her well-suited to fight Medicaid fraud.

Democratic Sens. Dave Aronberg and Dan Gelber are also running for the position.

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