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Andrew Warren officially launching re-election bid next month

“It’s very humbling to have so many people supporting the work we’re doing.”

Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren will host his re-election kickoff May 21 at Pane Rustica in South Tampa at 5:30 p.m.

“It’s very humbling to have so many people from both sides of the political aisle supporting the work we’re doing,” Warren said. “As we formally kick off our re-election efforts, I’m encouraged by the enthusiasm for the reforms, programs, and efficiencies my office has instituted over the last two years.”

Warren’s campaign claims it raised more than $100,000 in its first month.

Warren’s reelection bid is no surprise. He first announced in early February.

Since he was first elected in 2016, Warren has expanded diversion programs for youth offenders, instituted a policy to disarm domestic violence abusers, reduced “direct file” charging of juveniles as adults, increased the use of veterans courts and mental health courts, and implemented policies to end the criminalization of poverty.

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Under his leadership, the State Attorney’s Office has diverted 700 kids and 850 adults annually from the criminal justice program by utilizing civil citations for misdemeanor first offenses in many cases. The majority of those diversions were related to marijuana possession.

In addition to civil citations, Warren has also increased the use of problem-solving courts. Those are things like drug court, which offer alternatives to incarceration through treatment programs and various community service opportunities.

“There’s more work to do,” Warren said. “The right policies don’t guarantee electoral victory. That’s why we’re working now to build our organization and continue our commitment to the people of Hillsborough.”

One thing Warren hopes to continue working on is reducing what he calls “poverty traps.” Those are situations where people face criminal charges based on their inability to pay fines or fees.

For example, if a person fails to pay civil fines, they risk losing their driver’s license, which only succeeds in further financial decline.

Warren will be on the ballot next year. So far he’s not facing a challenger.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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