Meet the Candidate: Harold F. Pryor (Florida)

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7 mins read

Candidate Name:

Harold F. Pryor

What office are you running for?

State Attorney (Broward County)

With which party are you running for office?

Democratic Party

Election Date

August 18, 2020

Why are you running for office?

I am running for State Attorney because I believe that we can initiate ground-level criminal justice reform while not compromising the safety of our communities. I grew up in an environment where members of my family, my friends, and even myself believed that the criminal justice system did not work for people like me. However, I learned at an early age that if I wanted to change the system it would be best for me to work to change the system from within.

What is the biggest issue facing your community and how do you propose helping?

The prison population is a direct result of the growing prison industrial complex in the United States. We cannot have offices and institutions within the criminal justice system failing to comport with the basic principles of justice, fairness, equality, and liberty for all people. We must focus on violent and serious crimes and seek other alternatives to jail or prison for low-level and non-violent offenses. We must be mindful of the influence of private prisons and be careful not to aid in the prison industrial complex.

A State Attorney can aide in this effort by limiting the potential of an individual encountering the criminal justice system. In fact, it is my belief that the decriminalization of low-level crimes can limit many people’s, particularly people of color and poor people’s, contact with the legal system. Once people are in the criminal justice system, they are more susceptible to falling victim to its vicious cycle.

How do we fix the partisan divide in our country and start working together again?

We have a communication and empathy issue in this country. We for some reason or another cannot look at the person across from us, because they may have a different viewpoint, as human beings. Because of that, many put up a shield and there is no room for compassion or civility in our daily discourse. We have to restore compassion and civility in politics. We must create avenues where differing sides can communicate and have informed and civil discussions, especially when discussing criminal justice reform in this country. Community review boards and community forums should be the norm and not the exception.

Who is your hero?

My father. My father worked two, sometimes three jobs to ensure that our family had a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and food to eat. My father instilled in me the importance of hard work and faith.

What are your hobbies?

Playing competitive sports, reading, and playing made-up games with my two-year-old son.

What is the most recent book you read?

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot

Do you have any kids/pets/talking houseplants?

I have a two-year-old son, Trey, and amazing wife, Nikeisha.

How can our readers get involved in your campaign?

People can get involved through phone banking or texting voters. Learn more by visiting https://www.haroldpryor.com/volunteer/

What question do you wish we’d asked, and what is your answer?

Why are you the best person to serve as Broward County’s next State Attorney?

Answer: I am the only candidate in my race who combines the life, prosecutorial, leadership, and other legal experience needed to excel at the job with the support of the community that the State Attorney serves. In the times we live in, we need someone who is ready to shepherd in change at the State Attorney’s office on Day 1.

Many talk about change, but I have a consistent track record of leading change. I worked with the Mayor of Broward County to change the name of the North Wing of the Broward courthouse to honor Broward County’s first black judge, the Honorable Thomas J. Reddick, Jr. I have worked to help immigrant communities apply for citizenship. I recently coordinated a meeting of criminal justice stake holders (the Chief Judge, a representative from the State Attorney’s Office, and a representative from the Public Defender’s Office) and local activist groups to discuss the release of non-violent offenders from custody during the outbreak of COVID-19. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, I offered to represent or help find legal counsel for arrested peaceful protesters.

Broward is becoming an increasingly diverse community, and the criminal justice system has always had a disproportionate impact on communities of color. Some of my opponents talk about their experiences with communities of color, but I have lived it my entire life. I understand the criminal justice system from the perspective of not only a lawyer, but as a Black man who has seen from a young age how the criminal justice system has impacted my family and friends. I have built a diverse coalition in this campaign and am the only candidate who can say that they have built a campaign supported by a large coalition that looks like our community.

Candidate Social Media:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Post created from answers submitted by candidate to our Meet the Candidate survey.


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