In an effort to help you make informed decisions during the General Election, ABC Action News has reached out to dozens of candidates running for office. The following statements have been submitted to ABC Action News by the candidate. Every candidate was given the same set of questions. These are their responses in his/her own words.
Name: Mike Perotti
Office: State Attorney, 13th Circuit, Hillsborough County
Why should voters vote for you?
I am a 3rd generation Tampa Native who has dedicated his entire life to protecting and serving the citizens of Hillsborough County from nearly every aspect and vantage point of the criminal justice system. I have the experience, the acumen and the integrity to balance the need for compassion and treatment with the obligation to protect our community from dangerous actors. I will lead the office from a position of principles, not politics and will ensure that victim’s needs and the rights of all members of our community are well served. In meeting those objectives I will maintain accountability and complete transparency with the public.
If elected, what are your top priorities?
My top priorities will be addressing the racial disparities which are currently at the center of our social unrest and regaining the trust of the community; reshaping the office to meet the needs of victims while weathering the unavoidable backlogs and budget shortfalls expected from COVID-19 closures; Re-establishing the communication and rapport with law enforcement to ensure appropriate outcomes and intelligent enforcement methods and working with them to address the rise in violent crime; Creating greater diversity in the supervisory levels within the office; Creating and ensuring platforms and quarterly reporting requirements to provide complete transparency and accountability to the public.
What are three key messages of your campaign?
1-Victims needs first.
2-Real, substantive justice reform, with measurable outcomes- not just promises and window dressing.
3-Back the police by holding the police accountable.
What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
1-Government officials remain accountable and available to the people they serve.
2-Equality: Protecting and serving all members of the community equally regardless of race or affluence.
3-Creating opportunities for rehabilitation and treatment without sacrificing individual accountability and public safety.
As it relates to the role you are seeking, how has that governmental body handled the Covid-19 pandemic? What would you do differently/the same in handling both the public health risk and the economic recovery?
Not directly relevant to the position I am seeking. However, to the extent that criminal repercussions were considered and/or implemented for non-compliance with local emergency rules or mandates- I would always strive to balance such public health needs against the individual freedoms and constitutional rights of the people.
I would also look to avoid government over-reach and promote intelligent and enforceable legislative action by the appropriate entities.
In the role you are seeking, what will you do to address issues of racism and inequality?
My office will be critical to both managing and guiding the work product of law enforcement as well ensuring equitable, consistent and non-disparate outcomes for all accused. Protests and unrest would not be occurring in Hillsborough County had this been done properly in previous years. Diversity in the work place and critical, honest analysis of the prosecutorial efforts coming from my office must be assured. Inappropriate or misguided conduct by law enforcement must be identified, exposed and addressed. Under my leadership, there will not be double standards, cover-ups or issues with transparency.
What motivates you to run for public office?
I love Hillsborough County. It is and always has been my home. Dangerous and violent crimes and public dissention is on the rise. Poor leadership and self-serving endeavors are to blame and politics has no place in keeping the peace and ensuring public safety. I simply want to protect my home.