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In the Race for State Attorney for the 7th Circuit, the Aug. 14 Election Will Decide It All

| August 5, 2012

R.J. Larizza and Stasia Warren, facing each other in the race for State Attorney for the 7th Judicial Circuit, which includes Flagler, Volusia, Putnam and St. Johns counties. (© FlaglerLive)

R.J. Larizza and Stasia Warren, facing each other in the race for State Attorney for the 7th Judicial Circuit, which includes Flagler, Volusia, Putnam and St. Johns counties. (© FlaglerLive)

In the race for State Attorney for the 7th Judicial Circuit, the Aug. 14 election will decide it all, and all voters, regardless of party affiliation, may cast a ballot.

State Attorney R.J. Larizza, a one-term incumbent elected four years ago when he defeated John Tanner, is running against Stasia Warren–a Volusia County Court judge for over 20 years. Both are Republicans. The winner will be the state attorney regardless, because only two candidates of the same party are running in the race.

Therefore, all registered voters in Flagler County as well as St. Johns, Putnam, and Volusia are eligible to cast a ballot in this case–whether Democratic, Republican, Independent or from a minor party. You may cast a vote regardless of the district, the town or the subdivision you live in.

The 7th Judicial District is one of 20 districts in Florida. The 7th covers Flagler, St. Johns, Volusia and Putnam. The state attorney is the top cop in the district–the chief prosecuting officer in all criminal courts, representing the state and building criminal cases against defendants, deciding the severity of the charge, dropping charges when evidence is deemed insufficient, and initiating investigations, including grand jury investigations. (See a full list of responsibilities.)

Larizza, a Jacksonville native, worked 13 years at the Florida Department of Corrections, rising to supervisor, mostly in the St. Augustine office. He then got his law degree at Mercer University’s Walter F. George, School of Law in Macon, Ga., before working for several years as a prosecutor in the 7th Judicial District, in the St. Augustine office. He went into private practice in 2003, then, in 2008, ran for State Attorney against Tanner, who by then was facing mounting criticism for his handling of certain cases (including one involving his daughter and the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office), and diminished support among law enforcement’s rank and file. Larizza is in somewhat of a similar situation today, having lost much of the broad support, among that rank and file, that had mobilized for him four years ago.

Warren, a Michigan native, is the widow of Dan Warren, the former State Attorney for the 7th Judicial Circuit, and a legend in Florida history for his role in defeating the grip of the KKK on law enforcement in St. Johns County in the 1960s. Stasia Warren, once a teacher, got her law degree, moved to Volusia County, and started working at the State Attorney’s office as a prosecutor for six years before going into private practice.

Warren was elected Flagler County Court judge in 1990, and served more than 20 years before deciding to run for the State Attorney’s office.

FlaglerLive submitted 15 identical questions to Larizza and Warren, who replied in writing, with the understanding that some follow-up questions may be asked, and that all exchanges would be on the record. Click to their individual interviews in the table below.

Links to Each Live Interview
R.J. Larizza
Stasia Warren
The Overview


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8 Responses for “In the Race for State Attorney for the 7th Circuit, the Aug. 14 Election Will Decide It All”

  1. Lonewolf says:

    Terrific…my choice is R or R…that stinks

  2. question says:

    No kidding…both awful on most every front !!
    Horrified that either will be a State Attorney.
    … :(( ….

  3. Will says:

    I saw part of a a Stasia Warren ad this evening that was a little disturbing. What I saw showed a Larizza photo waving back and forth in the lower left while the narrative said that criminals should thank him for letting them off.

    The tag after the ad mentioned the Republican party and had Warren’s name, but again, I didn’t see it all. I’m a little suspicious for it didn’t seem up to the standard I would expect for an ad that would have been run by a respected judge running for the State Attorney spot. It seemed underhanded, almost as if it had been run to create a backlash..

    Just an observation.

  4. The HeathenAngel says:

    I’ll be voting for Warren. Larizza isn’t smart enough to read and then there’s the DUI and the outbursts of anger toward his staff that find him chucking staplers at their heads. Unfortunately, when the only choice is “the lesser of two evils”, if you don’t vote for that one, the more evil wins. Obviously, I’d like a different choice, but I’ll cross party lines on this since I haven’t a choice.

    • volusiaresident says:

      Wow I agree with the first 2 posts. Neither of them is a suitable candidate for States Attorney. He honors croney connections which equals corruption…and she is a warrior woman who wants to throw the book at everyone who dares to darken her office. Sheesh!!! What a choice!!! I really hope the next elections bring better candidate choices. They are both horrible!!! I’m Republican and I think they’re both horrible!!! Ugh!

  5. Wouldlikesomejustice says:

    All I know is we have dealt with Larizza’s office on several issues as a victim with a criminal within St. Johns county. I cannot tell you how many items have gone through his office, just to get dismissed. We have tried to find out statuses of cases, just to have phone calls not returned, cases not even attempted to be given the time of day. Including health insurance fraud (again, we were the victims). This was investigated by a detective with the Florida State Department of Financial Services who hand delivered his investigation to his office recommending a warrant being issued due to the substantial evidence received. What has happened with that?? Absolutely nothing. They even declined to have the state press charges and thought they should just send a letter asking to pay restitution. And what happened with that? Nothing. A lengthy letter, requesting response, was sent to his office. What happened with that? Nothing. Phone calls requesting a call back. What happened with that? Nothing…. And so the trend continues. This is in addition to the NUMEROUS criminal charges against the same person for several different cases, mainly fraud and deceit. And what continues to happen? Nothing. They just get the easy way out and get the green light to continue to commit an organized scheme to defraud. St Johns County deserves a State Attorney who will handle criminals the way criminals should be handled. With punishments for crimes committed. This is NOT happening with the Larizza office.

  6. Todd Brasells says:

    I have no personal dealings with her opponent but I have been in Judge Warrens court on several occasions. Twice as an expert witness once as an observer and once as a defendant ( settled out of court mainly because I did not feel I could get a fair hearing in front of judge Warren).
    The best example is the case in wich I was an observer. Two parties one claiming the other owed money for credit purchases. The defendant asked for the proff of this account. The account had the wrong name but it was a name the defendant used sometimes personally but not legally I.e. Robert / Bob judge Warren ordered the plaintiff to produce the documentation. They could not. She gave them 30 days. 30 days later no document none at all. She gives them another 30 days. Again they can produce nothing. She orders them to produce the documents. 90 days later no documents. Again she gives them 30 days more. Now the defendant is having to show up in court and miss work. The plantiff is just a lawyer calling in. So finally ( I don’t remember how many BITES AT THE APPLE she gave them) they produce one document not even a bill that has, again the WRONG name. And she finds for the plantiff. It was the most riddiculas display of one sided judging I’ve ever seen in my life. She made up her mind before either party walked into that courtroom. And that has been my experience with her in every case. Most of these cases I had no stake in at all, but I was shocked at how blatantly unfair she was.

    [The commenter is a state-certified Florida building contractor.–FL]

  7. LaPatra Edling says:

    I live in Putnam County and have not seen any information regarding either candidate, do they think Putnam citizens don’t matter?

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