Two candidates have qualified for the office of State Attorney for the 7th Judicial Circuit which includes St Augustine and St Johns County, Putnam, Flagler and Volusia counties; and, they will face each other as opponents for the first time in a candidate forum on Monday May 14.
Current State Attorney, RJ Larizza, and challenger, former judge Stasia Warren, initially meet-and-greet the audience during the social portion of the event beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the St Augustine Shrine Club; located at 250 Brainard Drive, east of US-1 and just north of Moultrie Creek.
“The goal is to provide a venue for the candidates to meet the voters and express their views regarding the Office of State Attorney,” Bruce told Historic City News. “The interactive forum will allow voters to learn more about the important post that reaches well beyond the courtroom.”
The program begins at 7:00 p.m. and the event will be sponsored by the Republican Club of Greater St Augustine. Questions will be moderated by Gary Bruce, the club president.
The Office of the State Attorney is a very important position that requires the leadership skills to work directly with law enforcement agencies, the court system and the public in a circuit that includes a total population of over 750,000 citizens.
Each candidate will have the opportunity to share their ideas regarding this important judicial office and present their personal qualifications, background and experience. A question and answer session will follow-up on their statements and respective positions on the issues, Bruce said.
Larizza was elected in 2008; defeating incumbent John Tanner. He faces challenger Stasia Warren of Volusia County who stepped down from the judicial bench before entering the race.
Because Larizza and Warren are both Republicans, they will face each other in the August 14th Primary Election. This will be an open Primary Election — meaning the ballot for State Attorney will be open to all voters; regardless of party affiliation.
Former Assistant State Attorney, Terry Shoemaker had been campaigning for the office; however, he did not file the required qualifying paperwork and the race is now closed.
The state attorney serves a four-year term, earns an annual salary of $150,077 and oversees investigators, prosecutors and administrative personnel throughout the four-county circuit.
The event is open to all registered Republicans. There is no charge for attending. Complimentary food will be served and a cash bar will be available. All proceeds from beverage sales benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children.