Stasia Warren is challenging first term State Attorney R.J. Larizza for state attorney of the 7th Judicial Circuit, with includes St. Johns, Flagler, Putnam and Volusia counties.
While both candidates are Republicans, no Democrat is in the race, so the Aug. 14 primary is open to all voters and the winner will be elected and serve a four-year term.
FAMILY: Wife, Trish; son, Justin, and his wife, Lacie, and granddaughter Simone; daughter, Ashley, and her husband, Steve.
OCCUPATION: State Attorney 7th Judicial Circuit
EDUCATION: B.S. criminal justice, Troy State University (1980); Juris Doctorate law degree, Mercer University (1996)
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Successfully ran for state attorney position in 2008
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN THIS RACE?
- "Public Safety - Maintaining and enhancing the safety and welfare of our families, friends and neighbors.
- "Since I took office we have achieved the highest conviction rate in the recorded history of the State Attorneys Office for the 7th Judicial Circuit.
- "Experience - I began my career in the criminal justice system as a Probation Officer with the Florida Dept. of Corrections. After 13 years of monitoring felony probationers I left the Department and my family and I traveled to Macon Ga., so that I could attend Law School at Mercer University. Upon graduation in 1996, I returned to St. Johns County and worked as an Assistant State Attorney and tried over 60 felony jury trials. After 6 1/2 years as a prosecutor I opened and built a successful private practice. In 2008 I successfully ran for the State Attorney position.
"The State Attorney's Office has 220 employees spread out over 4 counties (Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns & Volusia). During the 2010 & 2011 calendar years combined, the office closed over 140,000 cases. Managing the largest law firm in the 7th Judicial Circuit is challenging. During my tenure we have charged more cases and dropped less, our conviction rate is up and crime is down. I have a proven track record of successful leadership."
HOW CAN YOU HELP VOTERS IN A WAY IN A WAY THAT OTHERS RUNNING FOR THIS OFFICE CANNOT?
- "I have served as your State Attorney for almost four years. I have gained invaluable experience in running the Office and making sure that it is run properly. During my tenure the following accomplishments have been achieved:
- A conviction rate of 89.8% - the highest conviction rate in the recorded history of the State Attorneys Office for the 7th Circuit. The State average is 86%.
- The conviction rate is up and crime is down.
- The office has closed out over 140,000 cases during the 2010 & 2011 calendar years combined.
- Improved the relationship and communication between the State Attorney's Office and Law Enforcement.
- Established the Career Criminal/Special Prosecution Unit that targets the habitual violent felons and career criminals who are responsible for the most serious offenses and pose the greatest threat to public safety.
- Exercised fiscal budget management - including absorbing approximately 2 million in budget cuts (13.3% reduction) without layoffs or furloughs and thus protecting the necessary resources (staff) to ensure that public safety was not compromised.
- Increased the collection of cost of prosecution fees from defendants by approximately 48%
- Elected to the Board of Directors of the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, which has provided R.J. the opportunity to represent the Seventh Circuit on state-wide issues that impact our communities locally.
- Implemented a performance based employee evaluation process that applies to all employees.
- Upgraded technology and software to enhance productivity and promote the implementation of a paperless office.
"Once re-elected, I will continue to build upon the many successes of my first term."
WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ACCOMPLISHING AFTER SERVING IN THIS OFFICE?
- "That we did the right thing for the right reason and that we maintained the integrity and credibility of the criminal justice system at all times."
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: Larizza2012.com
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Elected Volusia County court judge in 1990
FAMILY: Widow of Dan Warren, former state attorney for the 7th Judicial Circuit; 6 children and 8 grandchildren
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: StasiaWarren.com
This candidate has not responded to WJXT/News4Jax.com's questionnaire.