Communities with a strong elected Public Defender tend to have the fairest court systems. The job is one of the most important, yet understated elected positions and is the equivalent counterpart to the elected State Attorney. Rocky Brancato has represented some of the most high-profile clients on some of this county's most serious cases. He is one of only a few attorneys in Hillsborough County qualified to serve as lead counsel on death penalty cases. He is endorsed by our longstanding Public Defender, Julianne Holt and he has served at her side for nearly two decades.
Rocky worked his way up in the Hillsborough County Public Defender's Office, starting as a felony line attorney in 2003 and currently serving as Chief Operations Officer, the number two position in the office. He has served in every bureau in the office and understands the job of the Public Defender better than anyone. He began his career in the Public Defender's Office for the 1st Judicial Circuit, in Pensacola, Florida.
Over the years, Rocky has worked with criminal justice and juvenile justice stakeholders on many important issues that affect all citizens of Hillsborough County. He currently chairs the Circuit 13 Juvenile Justice Advisory Board. He was a key collaborative leader throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to create new ways to keep the criminal courts open during an unprecedented global shutdown. He has enjoyed a seat at the table in the development and refinement of various problem-solving courts and diversionary programs. He is respected by many in the legal community and is often sought out for advice from attorneys both from inside the office and from the private bar. He has over twenty years experience in the area of criminal law.
All government offices face many challenges in this post-pandemic, politically-charged era. Hillsborough County needs a Public Defender with experience in both the high-level practice of criminal law and in the day-to-day operations of the public defender's office. Rocky is the only candidate with these dual qualifications. Hillsborough County's Public Defender's Office is the largest criminal defense firm in the county and one of the largest in the state. This is a difficult job and experienced leadership matters.
Rocky Brancato for Public Defender
13014 N Dale Mabry Hwy #335
Tampa, FL 33618-2808