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Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson is throwing his weight behind Suzy Lopez for election as Hillsborough County State Lawyer.

Lopez at the moment has the job. Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed her after he controversially suspended, and later eliminated, former State Lawyer Andrew Warren. Lopez and DeSantis are Republicans, whereas Warren is a Democrat. Simpson can also be a Republican.

She has served Florida’s thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County since final August.

“When Hillsborough County wanted a tricky on crime law-and-order warrior to proper the ship, Suzy Lopez stepped in to make sure justice for victims and their households. I’m proud to affix legislation enforcement leaders in supporting Suzy, as a result of I do know she is dedicated to maintaining criminals behind bars the place they belong,” Simpson mentioned.

“I whole-heartedly endorse Suzy Lopez as a result of the folks of Hillsborough County are safer along with her as State Lawyer.”

Whereas Simpson didn’t point out Warren by title, his reference to Lopez righting the ship is clearly a reference to Lopez’s predecessor.

DeSantis eliminated Warren after he signed a pledge to not prosecute abortion-related crimes. The previous State Lawyer challenged his suspension, suing first in federal court docket. There, U.S. District Decide Robert Hinkle mentioned DeSantis illegally violated Warren’s First Modification rights with the suspension, however that federal courts had no authority to reinstate him.

Regardless of the controversial nature by which Lopez bought the job as Hillsborough’s prime prosecutor, she has been doing the job for about seven months. Lopez mentioned her Workplace handles about 50,000 instances every year. She mentioned her focus has been on advocating for crime victims and pursuing justice.

She is a member of the Hillsborough County Bar Affiliation, the Goldberg-Cacciatore and Tampa Bay Inns of Court docket, the Hillsborough Affiliation for Ladies Attorneys, Hillsborough County Bar Affiliation Professionalism Award Committee and the Gold Defend Basis. Lopez is on the Govt Council of Secure and Sound Hillsborough and Board Chair for Self Reliance, The Heart for Unbiased Dwelling.

Lopez served as a county Decide earlier than her appointment, and had been appointed to that submit in December 2021. She beforehand labored as an Assistant State Lawyer within the thirteenth Judicial Circuit for 17 years. Earlier than that, Lopez labored as a lawyer on the 2nd District Court docket of Attraction.

She is Hillsborough County’s first feminine State Lawyer.

“I’m grateful to Commissioner Simpson for his endorsement and for his unimaginable work defending customers and our state’s important agriculture trade,” Lopez mentioned. “In each nook of Hillsborough County, households can relaxation assured I’m firmly dedicated to maintaining our communities protected and prosecuting those that break the legislation.”

Warren declined to run for re-election. Democrat Elizabeth Martinez Strauss has filed to problem Lopez, however she hasn’t posted any marketing campaign finance experiences but. Lopez, in the meantime, has raised greater than $200,000 for her bid.

Along with Simpson, Lopez has additionally earned nods from the state Police Benevolent Affiliation, in addition to native chapters in Tampa, St. Pete (Suncoast), and West Central Florida.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister additionally backs Lopez.

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