UPDATED 3.1.2011 by Julie Montanaro
State Attorney Willie Meggs announced Monday night he'll be seeking an 8th term in office.
He's been at the helm in the second circuit for 25 years and word that he wants at least four more is one of the most commented stories of the day.
Willie Meggs pours over one his latest filings ... the 67 year old 7-term state attorney announced Monday ... he intends to run for re-election in 2012.
"I enjoy my work. I think I make a difference. I think I do a good job at it, I try. I know I do and if I don't, it's not for lack of effort on my part," Meggs said, "and it's never boring."
That announcement may have put several other potential candidates on ice and political strategists say the timing couldn't be better.
"He's gotta be feeling good coming off a very high profile death penalty case with the Gary Hilton case," said political consultant Steve Vancore. "He's got ... he's got a couple of others down the pipe, but you know, the community, the last few cycles with Allen Boyd, Ed Depuy, Clif Thaell, long term incumbents are never immune from a strong challenge."
Meggs announcement is one of the top ten most popular and talked about stories on wctv.tv.
Some voiced their support.
"Run Willie Run."
"The Gary Hilton trial made me a believer again, he has my vote."
But others said, "it's time for him to go."
"The decision you made in the Sheriff Harvey case wil probably be your downfall. So long."
Meggs was highly criticized for his decision not to prosecute Wakulla County Sheriff David Harvey, not once, but twice and another called his decision not to seek charges against a deputy's wife in a deadly crash "the last straw."
"You're always going to be criticized no matter what you do.If you charge someone you are criticized, if you don't charge someone you're criticized. So what I have to try to do is focus on what's right to the best of my ability and move forward with it," Meggs said.
2.28.2011 by Julie Montanaro 7:15pm
State Attorney Willie Meggs announced today that he is seeking an 8th term in office.
Meggs made the announcement late this afternoon at a staff meeting at the courthouse.
Meggs has been state attorney in the second circuit since 1985.
Meggs is 67 years old and says he still enjoys coming to work. "I think I make a difference, I try to, and I beleive I make this a better place to live," he said. "I just want to keep doing it."
Before becoming state attorney, Meggs worked as an assistant state attorney for seven years, and as a Tallahassee Police Officer and Leon County Deputy for nine years before that.
Among the highs and lows this past year: Meggs was reprimanded by a judge in October for making inflammatory comments to the press in the Ray Sansom case and just last week, Meggs and fellow prosecutor Georgia Cappleman argued successfully for the death penalty for Gary Hilton.
In recent years, Meggs has repeatedly pushed the legislature to reconsider the "Stand Your Ground" law, saying it is not being used by law abiding citizens trying to defend themselves, but rather by gang members trying to avoid prosecution.