Friday, February 16, 2018

Competitive DA races to watch

Among DA races, the main three I'm watching in the primary are Dallas and San Antonio on the Dem side, and McLennan County (Waco) on the R side. See coverage from
Of these, the McLennan County race is perhaps most interesting. The Twin Peaks biker cases are completely unraveling, with the DA office walking away from the cases and the state Attorney General refusing to prosecute them. Will GOP primary voters punish Abel Reyna for screwing the case up so badly? Time will tell. But the timing really couldn't be worse for him.

MORE: An alert reader complained that I'd left out the DA contest in the Smith County GOP primary. My bad; Grits hasn't been watching the hometown news. Here's a link to coverage of a candidate forum in January and video of a recent candidate debate.

AND MORE: Preparing for a podcast segment on the primary elections, Grits ran across a few additional races of which readers should be aware.

In Victoria County, the daughter of a former DA is running against the incumbent on a reform agenda, chastising him for a failed policy of taking every first-offense DWI case to trial. This race shows how "reform" is relative. Not every reformer DA will be Larry Krasner. In Texas, simply being willing to oppose extremist bone-headedness in favor of pragmatism and math can make one a "moderate" in the GOP primary.

In Denton County, challenger Brent Bowen says the reputation of incumbent Paul Johnson’s office has been “marred by law suits and misconduct.”

Then there are a couple of competitive DA races out there which won't be decided along "reform" axes but rather by more traditional charges of incumbents being too lenient in plea bargaining. In Galveston, Jack Roady faces a primary challenger accusing the incumbent of being soft on crime. And in Walker County, the county seat of which is Huntsville, the First Assistant of incumbent David Weeks is battling it out with a civil attorney whose supporters say the DA office isn’t tough enough on DWI.


Jay Dee said...

Grits, why do you always leave your hometown out of these kinds of posts? One of the most interesting DA races is here in Smith County. Assistant DA Jacob Putman is being challenged by Alicia Cashell Barkley. Barkley and her supporters claim Putman is responsible for the murder of DPS trooper Damon Allen because the murderer was given a lenient plea deal in an assault of a public servant charge in 2015. Well, it turns out that Putman may have done the smart thing in the case and it appears that the media and the public are being worked up into a froth by Barkley's supporters, who include sitting DA Matt Bingham. Putman is accusing his boss, Matt Bingham of running a "corrupt" department that gives favorable treatment to defendants who are well-connected or have the "right" attorneys. Barkley talks of wanting to take the DA's office back to the days of Jack Skeen, Jr. and talks on and on about "aggressive prosecution, blah, blah, blah...

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Not intentional, just hadn't seen coverage of it. Thanks for the heads up!

Ed said...

Walker County (Huntsville), headquarters of TDCJ, has a contested race between the First Assistant District Attorney and a well known private attorney that could get nasty. Law enforcement seems to have come out for the outsider. The retiring DA is endorsing the Assistant DA.

Unknown said...

Wharton County(Wharton, El Campo Texas) prior DA Jos McGown was so Corrupted that he was having an affair with his Secretary and left his dirty seed in our Court system, For example Child Support Office and A Local attorney where caught steal and not reporting child support funds to the state and cause fathers to be jail, Was brought up to the Commissioners and they didn't nothing to charge her. She was free to quit and go somewhere else to Steal, like our prior District Clerk..But That's none of my Business ..

Anonymous said...

Your full of BS scott, you know damn well smith county da matt bingham, jack skeen and david dobbs are most corrupt SSOB’s on the face of the earth.