FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Two candidates are vying to become Broward County’s first new state attorney in 44 years.
Fifty-five-year-old Gregg Rossman and 33-year-old Harold Pryor are running to replace Mike Satz, who is retiring after having been elected in 1976.
Both candidates spoke with 7News recently to state their case as to why they are the better option for voters.
Rossman worked as assistant state attorney for 20 years.
“The Sun-Sentinel referred to me as the same old law and order,” he said. “If you want law and order in your county, I think I’m your candidate.”
Pryor worked in the State Attorney’s Office for three years.
“I served as a prosecutor. I tried misdemeanor offenses, all the way to serious felony offenses,” he said,
Pryor survived a crowded field of Democrats in the primary.
“My belief is that our message just resonated with the voters of Broward County,” he said.
Rossman, meanwhile, ran unopposed as a Republican, but he would rather voters focus on his experience.
During his time in the State Attorney’s Office, Rossman led the career criminal unit, organized crime unit and homicide trial unit, where he tried 65 cases in seven years.
“There’s people in that office that have been there 30 years and haven’t tried that many trials,” he said.
Pryor said he wants to reform the office.
“The Breonna Taylors, the Ahmaud Arberys, the George Floyds and the Trayvon Martins. I had to look at myself, and it was a gut check, ‘What are you doing?'” he said.
One of Pryor’s main points is a cashless bail system for low-level, nonviolent offenders.
“My goal is no cash bail for nonviolent offenses, so if it’s a nonviolent offense, it doesn’t pose a risk to the safety of our community, then I truly believe we shouldn’t have a cash bail system in those circumstances,” he said.
But Rossman says a similar program, pre-trial release, is already in place.
“Which means there’s no bond. It’s cashless bail, if you want to call it that,” he said, “but it’s not reckless. Somebody has interviewed them. They have a home to go to. They live in Broward County.”
Rossman said he wants to work closer with police departments to make improvements.
“They can criticize my agency and say, ‘Gregg, your case filers need to do a better job.’ ‘OK, great. I’ll get on it.,'” he said. “Guess what: I might respond and say, ‘They’re doing a great job. You’re writing terrible reports.'”
It’s a brand-new day for the State Attorney’s Office, with one of the biggest trials in the county’s history, that of Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooter Nikolas Cruz, waiting for the winner.
Due to the pandemic, the winning candidate will almost certainly have a smaller budget to work with.
“Tax revenue has not come in. It’s just gonna be a fact. You’re going to need an experienced hand that’s been through that office and worked in every facet of that office,” said Rossman.
“My life experiences, coupled with my professional experience and also civic engagement and involvement in the community, I truly believe it makes me the best person for this job in this time right now,” said Pryor.
Satz has offered to assist in the Nikolas Cruz case regardless of who wins the election.
Copyright 2020 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.