2016 REWIND: 100. State Attorney RJ Larizza returned to office without opposition

Photo for Headline Surfer / State Attorney RJ Larizza is shown at a fundraiser in Daytona Beach prior to qualifying for re-election. Looking on from the side is Tony Ledbetter, chairman of the Volusia County Republican Executive Committee.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

Top 100 local stories of 2016 in Daytona Beach-Orlando area / Headline SurferDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Often times, running for elected office becomes convoluted in numbers.

Consider the candidacy of State Attorney R.J. Larizza was returned to office for a third consecutive four-year term at high noon Friday, May 6, in the Seventh Judicial Circuit when qualifying ended and he had no challengers. 

Third, four, seventh -- that's a mishmash of numbers that help define the office sought, such as the length of time and jurisdiction. But here's a number that perhaps is most impactful for this particular office: $116,379. 

That is the amount Larizza raised in campaign contributions for the 2016 election cycle, according to the Florida Division of Election - most it already amassed by February -- a virtual wall that clearly discourages competition. It's a strategy Larizza openly embraced at that point after two previous competitive elections. 

"Having the ability to raise the funds necessary to mount a significant campaign is important and I think folks notice that," Larizza explained, especially for this elected office that is comparable and in some cases even larger a geographic territory than a statehouse seat in Tallahassee or or a congressional seat in Washington. The Seventh Judicial Circuit encompasses Volusia, Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns counties. That's far greater than the 6th Congressional district with redrawn lines that covers all of Volusia County and slivers of a few neighboring counties.

Though Larizza had no opposition for such a high-profile office that generates daily press coverage for ongoing trials, sentencing hearings, indictments and the like, he was all too pleased to announce victory in a patriotic way via social media.

"It is a high honor to serve as your elected State Attorney," the incumbent wrote on his Facebook page, Re-elect R.J. Larizza for State Attorney. "Your friendship and support made our campaign successful. All the folks at the State Attorney's Office work hard every day to make our communities safer and better. I look forward to the next 4 years making justice a reality for the citizens of the Seventh Circuit. God bless you, your family, and God bless America!"

State Attorney RJ Larizza wins re-election without opposition in 2016 / Headline Surfer Though State Attorney RJ Larizza had no opposition for such a high-profile office that generates daily press coverage for ongoing trials, sentencing hearings, indictments and the like, he was all too pleased to announce victory in a patriotic way via social media. 

"It is a high honor to serve as your elected State Attorney," the incumbent wrote on his Facebook page, Re-elect R.J. Larizza for State Attorney. "Your friendship and support made our campaign successful. All the folks at the State Attorney's Office work hard every day to make our communities safer and better. I look forward to the next 4 years making justice a reality for the citizens of the Seventh Circuit. God bless you, your family, and God bless America!"

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet in Daytona Beach, Florida, via HeadlineSurfer.com. Specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with dozens of journalism-industry awards.

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