Ashton Vows to Open Sustained Dialogue with Minority Leaders, Communities
Former prosecutor Jeff Ashton, running to become the next Orange-Osceola State Attorney said Friday, if elected, he will work with Hispanic and African-American leaders and communities to help eliminate the racial disparity that exists in the criminal justice system.
Ashton, in an exclusive interview with West Orlando News On line, was responding to the bias against minorities at various points in the justice system.
“The problems that plague all communities, including the African-American and Hispanic communities, are best solved by a partnership between law enforcement and the communities themselves,” he said. “I think that’s one of the things most lacking here.”
Ashton also referenced the Travon Martin case and the recent “mess up” in Sanford, pointing out that there was no line of communication between the State Attorney’s Office and the African-American community.
Asked if he had reached out to minority communities in majority-minority Orange County, given that most Florida politicians take their vote for granted, Ashton said he most certainly had.
“We have attempted to speak to leaders in minority communities in order to get a dialogue going,” he said. “My biggest hope is that we open the lines of communication….people will be able to call me and I will be able to call them.”
Added Ashton, “My opponent, Mr. Lamar, has always taken the minority vote for granted. I don’t think he has ever really spent time reaching out to folks, to listen and hear their concerns.”
Check back later for the full interview with Jeff Ashton, candidate in the race for Orange-Osceola State Attorney.