David Ayala, husband of current State Attorney Aramis Ayala, has endorsed Monique Worrell in the contested election to succeed his wife. He referenced many current policies that may be “drastically changed” if any other candidate running end up being elected, and even branded two candidates as “anti-Aramis.” The State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit serves Orange and Osceola counties in Central Florida.
In attacking one candidate, Ryan Williams, the gloves came off. “It seems he was more thirsty to seek death and villainize Aramis than create reform or special projects, which was his job,” David Ayala said. Williams has a controversial past in the State Attorney office, where he aggressively prosecuted Noel Carter, who was a actually himself a victim of Orlando Police brutality and excessive force. Just this week, Orlando agreed to pay Carter $95,000 to settle the excessive force case. Williams also left State Attorney Ayala’s office because she refused to seek the death penalty. (see link to Williams’ response below)
David Ayala said any candidate other than Worrell would uproot current policies including the death penalty panel, bail reform, low-level drug diversion policy, Project No/No for Juveniles, and the Use of Force policy among others.
“She understands the concept of building not tearing down,” David Ayala wrote. “She has a history of reform. She will fight to reduce recidivism and increase public safety. Her goal is not comfort but change, so she will hold the establishment accountable and is best suited in this time to be our next State Attorney.”
Here is his full endorsement post:
Hello FB Friends & Family,
Out of respect for my wife I stayed silent about the State Attorney race because her Chief Assistant is running, and I knew it could create tension. But my silence ends today. I can’t be silent while our community is hurting and she’s taking shots that minimize the work that has been done. I watched how she distanced herself from Aramis and it didn’t feel good. She did her job as Chief Assistant, but nothing more, in my opinion. I think our community deserves someone who is bold about the need to build on the past few years.
There are two other candidates who have been anti-Aramis, which they are free to be. But you cannot turn around today and pretend to favor reform when your history does not show any commitment to reform. One of the other candidates prosecuted a black young man name Noel Carter who was actually a victim of police violence, then he abandoned our community to work for the prosecutor who prosecuted his own dad. It seems he was more thirsty to seek death and villainize Aramis than create reform or special projects, which was his job.
There’s another candidate in the race who conveniently switched from the Republican party and is vocal about his commitment to restoring things from the past. We saw how hatred toward our first Black President caused us to go backward. If you do not respect the work that has been done and are not talking about how to advance it and make it better then it shows us that your work will reflect that of Donald Trump of uprooting the change just because you can.
Current policies that may be uprooted or drastically changed if any of the above candidates are elected include:
Death Penalty Panel
Conviction Integrity Unit
Low-level Drug Diversion Policy
Project No/No for Juveniles
Use of Force Policy
All the above candidates criticized our current State Attorney as not having partnerships. They must mean with the establishment because we have never seen community partnerships grow with the State Attorney’s Office like they have over the past few years. Besides, they should be questioning why the establishment is not partnering with her and her progressive thinking. If candidates are more worried about the morale of the office than the morale in the streets it is clear who they think the State Attorney works for.
You cannot brag about prosecuting police officers without talking about the police officers you did not prosecute or tell us what policies you created to address the injustice of police violence. Your experience as an Assistant State Attorney makes you an experienced Assistant. That’s all. Experience alone isn’t an entitlement. Your history in the reform movement and contribution to changed policy is what qualifies you to work for the people. Your police union endorsement is not impressive to communities most directly impacted by the State Attorney. Your commitment to follow the law is your job. Your commitment to justice shows us your character. We are looking for a state attorney who will do more than just their job but true service and healing to the community.
Today I offer my full unwavering support to Monique Worrell for State Attorney. She understands the concept of building not tearing down. She has a history of reform. She will fight to reduce recidivism and increase public safety. Her goal is not comfort but change, so she will hold the establishment accountable and is best suited in this time to be our next State Attorney.
UPDATE: Candidate Ryan Williams Responds