Reporting Joan Murray
FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – The upcoming November elections include a race for the Broward State Attorney which pits a longtime incumbent against a well-known defense attorney.
Mike Satz, who has held the office for 35 years, is running for a tenth term.
He faces Republican challenger Jim Lewis.
The State Attorney oversees 500 employees including the assistant state attorneys who prosecute cases.
CBS4 sat down with both candidates to talk about the key issues.
Satz, 70, said he “still has a passion for the job” and is running on his experience.
“Experience as a trial lawyer, experience as an administrator and experience with the community as it has grown is invaluable,” said Satz.
Jim Lewis, 55, is best known for representing colorful defendants like Corey Eubanks who is accused of assisting Oneal Ron Morris, the so-called ‘toxic tush doctor’, who is accused of injecting toxic chemicals including fix-a-flat and super glue into women to enhance their features including their buttocks.
“They all somehow find their way to me,” Lewis explained.
He also represented teenager Lionel Tate, using the unique defense that Tate was imitating wrestling moves when he killed a playmate.
Lewis has run for public office before and lost.
“Abe Lincoln ran 11 times before he was elected. I’m no Abe Lincoln but I do love being involved with change as opposed to complaining about it. I was a prosecutor for 12 years and criminal defense attorney for over 20 years. I really get to see the system from both sides the strengths and the weaknesses,” said Lewis.
If elected State Attorney for Broward, Lewis said he would like to work on revamping drug prosecutions.
“I’m tired of paying for drug addicts trying to fix them selves. We need those prison beds for violent offenders,” said Lewis. “I want to make sure we prosecute the violent offenders, the people who kill and rape, and make sure we give them the longest prison sentence. I would like to see drug cases go into diversion programs.”
Satz said if re-elected he will focus on retaining assistant state attorneys and making his office paperless.
“We’re concerned about retaining the people that have come up through the ranks, the people who will be our county’s future,” said Satz. “We try to do the right thing for the right reason everyday and make a positive contribution to the community.”
Satz added that he would continue to focus on public corruption, violent crime, crimes against children and the elderly.
Lewis also pledged to crack down on public corruption and violent crime.
“People know what they get with Jim Lewis and that’s someone who will work hard every day and try to do the right thing every time,” said Lewis.