ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Former Judge Belvin Perry said he is considering a run for state attorney in the 9th Judicial Circuit for Orange and Osceola counties, and has been for some time.
Perry, who is currently an attorney with the Morgan and Morgan law firm, told News 6 the Aramis Ayala administration has the office in complete disarray and in his view, the office is in need of “new leadership.”
“The state attorney’s office has basically been drifting for the last three-plus years with no direction," Perry said. “We don’t devote enough attention to victims of crime.”
Perry said Ayala’s announcement that she will not seek reelection had nothing to do with his decision to consider running for the office.
“It’s no secret that people have been approaching me for quite some time. It’s no secret that I was contemplating it," he said. “There needs to be new leadership in the state attorney’s office, there needs to be a new direction.”
The former chief judge for Florida's 9th Judicial Circuit was thrust into the national spotlight when he presided over the Casey Anthony murder trial.
“I have the summer to think about it," Perry said. “But one thing I don’t have to do is build name recognition. I’m somewhat of a known commodity in the 9th circuit.”
Perry was critical of Ayala’s relationship with law enforcement, qualifying it as “not the best.”
He said he will consider the pros and cons of the job over the summer and could make a decision this fall.
Perry’s resume spans decades of service, including his role as former chief assistant state attorney, a circuit judge for nearly 25 years and serving as chief judge for 18 years.
“I have experience as a trial attorney, a judge who presided over trials and as a proven administrator," Perry said. “So I have three positive qualities."
So far, Democrat Ryan Williams, an assistant prosecutor in the 5th Judicial Circuit, and Republican Kevin Morenski have registered as candidates for state attorney in the 9th Judicial Circuit.
If Perry runs, it will be as a Democrat. The qualifying date is June 2020.