Is Mark Ober a relic of the past?
That’s clearly the charge being made about the man who has served as the Hillsborough County State Attorney for the past 16 years in a new television ad out on Tuesday for Andrew Warren, the former federal prosecutor turned Democratic candidate for Hillsborough County State Attorney. The 30-second ad — now airing on local broadcast and cable stations — takes aim at the GOP incumbent, painting him as behind the times in dealing with how the criminal justice system should work in 2016.
The ad plays off of advances in technology in the opening and concluding scenes; The first shot in the ad depict an old-school typewriter, quickly superseded by a keyboard for a computer. The end shows someone using a dial-up telephone, before segueing to a picture of a smartphone.
As far as the actual content, Warren begins by narrating that “a lot has changed in Hillsborough County over the past 30 years, but the way our state attorney prosecutes criminals hasn’t.”
Warren says violent crime is increasing, then provocatively says “rape victims are blamed for what they endured.”
That’s a reference to the charge that Ober has somehow “blamed the victim” in the case of a Hillsborough County teen who traveled across state lines in a sexual abuse case. The Warren camp has accused Ober of speaking insensitively about the case, and initially suggested he only began prosecuting the case because he was called out by a local television report.
Ober has vehemently denied that charge, saying that the case was complicated and it took time before prosecutors in his office decided to charge the alleged perpetrator, Alexander Pelzer. Ober also has had to ward off critical statements made about him by the victim in the case, and the victim’s mother.
“At no time have I blamed the victim in this case, nor would I do so,” Ober said in a statement released Sept. 9. “She is a victim of criminal acts perpetrated by the defendant.”
Watch the Andrew Warren ad below: