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Panama City-based attorney Eric Garmon is running for the State Attorney position in the 14th Judicial Circuit.

Garmon grew up and went to school in Bay County. After graduating and the 9/11 attacks, he joined the Marine Corps in 2002.

After his service, Garmon returned to Bay County and served with various law enforcement agencies, including the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and Panama City Police Department. His stints have included time as a reserve officer.

Garmon said he learned various aspects of law enforcement and justice as he rose through the ranks.

He eventually attended and graduated from law school, becoming a local lawyer after. Garmon started practicing civil law involving serious fatalities and crashes.

After Hurricane Michael, he transitioned into civil property damage claims given the widespread damage to buildings left from the storm. Garmon once again served as a reserve office post-Michael, this time with Bay District Schools.

Garmon said he is running for State Attorney due to seeing a lot of “inefficient and unjust” practices. Particularly, he said people can sometimes languish in jail before their charges are dropped.

For instance, someone may be sitting in jail or have a felony charge before a video they have gets watched and shows they did not commit a crime, Garmon said. These charges can be dropped sooner under more efficient handling, he said.

Establishing an intake department is a primary goal for Garmon to make sure proper charges are made and handled in a timely manner.

Cases are not being fully looked at until months down the road in many instances, he said. 

Garmon also said there is a “very large” jail population in Bay and outer counties. Having a prosecutor go to the jails at least one day a week to talk to inmates about taking a plea deal or seeing if a defendant wants to go to trial could help alleviate that large population, he said.

The Veterans Treatment Court–an outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment

program for military veteran offenders–needs to be made a priority, Garmon said.

Veterans should be given the chance to become productive members of society, he said.