Willie Meggs and Pete Williams squared off in an open forum on Friday. Both hoped to prove he is the best candidate for State Attorney in the second judicial circuit.
“It was an important opportunity to try and get the issues out in this race,” said Williams.
Williams has received a pretty big endorsement. He’s been backed by the Police Benevolent Association.
The candidates were quick to cut to the chase.
“The challenger was more negative. And I don’t think that went over well with this crowd. He seemed very angry,” said Barney Bishop, a Tallahassee Resident.
Contrary to Mr. Bishop’s remarks, Williams won the forum straw poll by 75 to 46.
Meggs is seeking reelection for what would be his eighth term. He’s held the title for 28 years. Williams said it’s time to end what he calls selective prosecution.
“I wanna move forward to the future and end the good ol’ boy network. Which means it shouldn’t matter who you know. Every case is handled the same. Every person’s handled the same. No favoritism. No enemies list. Just everything by the book and professional,” said Williams.
Meggs was quick to defend himself.
“I don’t know anything about a good ol’ boy network. What we do is try our best to do right and do justice to every case that comes a long,” said Meggs.
Meggs said his office handles thirty to forty thousand cases a year and he’s proud of the job he’s done.
“Obviously we don’t do em’ all exactly as some people think we should. But day in and day out we do a good job with the cases,” said Meggs.
The state attorney for the second judicial circuit covers a six county region, including Leon, Wakulla and Gadsden counties.