Interesting day in 9th Circuit. Today sitting State Attorney Lawson Lamar defended his record as the circuit's top prosecutor against rivals Ryan Williams and Jeff Ashton. Also in attendance was Joerg Jaeger.
I say "also in attendance" was Joerg Jaeger as it is clear that his sole role in this election is to support Lawson Lamar. That support comes in the form of campaign contributions, attacking Ashton as unethical and Williams as inexperienced, and commenting how Lamar has done a fine job as state attorney. I could be wrong about Mr. Jaeger's intent but I guess we will have to see what happens after the primary.
Mr. Lamar did a nice job throughout the debate defending his record and various initiates that he has undertaken to make our community more safe. He boasted about his expansion of the pretrial diversion program and his efforts to decrease violent juvenile crime. However, Mr. Lamar became quite defensive when discussing conviction rates and office moral. I would think these issues would continue to be hit upon by Lamar's rivals as well as the contentions of cronyism in the office.
Ryan Williams seemed to be the most aggressive of the bunch throughout the debate. He too questioned Mr. Ashton's ethical behavior and also alluded to the relationship between Mr. Lamar and Mr. Jaeger. Mr. Williams also pressed Mr. Lamar on his office's conviction rate and questioned whether justice was really being done when victims are made to go through a trial when the evidence is lacking and scarce.
Jeff Ashton was very succinct in his answers. He promised to run the office differently then Mr. Lamar particularly when it comes to being a trial attorney. He felt that being in the courtroom with his experience was import not only because of the skills that he has developed but also he felt that the attorneys in the office would respect that they are being led by one of their own. Ashton did have to spend some time speaking about past cases and questionable conduct and invited the public to seek out the facts on their own and he stood by his record.
All in all we will have a very interesting race here Orange and Osceola counties. Hopefully there will be more debate so we can learn more about the candidates and what they stand for and how they will serve our community.