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Government/Politics

Bexar County District Attorney Announces Opposition To GOP Voting Bills

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Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio
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Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales

The county's top law enforcer is voicing his opposition to GOP voting bills that led to a walkout of Democratic Texas House members this week.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales told county commissioners on Tuesday it's time to fight against measures that limit voter access.

"I believe those bills have nothing to do with secure elections, they're more about suppressing the votes to those people who have a difficult time getting to the polls, our elderly... people of color and people with disabilities," he said.

He said he wanted to be on-record about his stance by speaking during the commissioners meeting.

"I just want to make sure that everyone is clear as far as the District Attorney's Office is concerned, as far as myself is concerned... we all need to rally behind fighting these bills," he said.

A majority of the lawmakers who have shown support for the walkout have been Democrat leaders, like Joaquin Castro, who said the Texas Democrats had exhausted every tool they had. He agreed with DA Gonzales: It's a matter of voting rights.

"Voting rights have been under assault in our state for years by the Republican majority. They don't try to win elections really by governing anymore. They try to win elections by keeping the people who usually vote against them from going to vote," Castro told TPR.

But not all Texas lawmakers see it that way. For Gov. Greg Abbott, the walkout was a form of "abandonment" of the state.

"We being the Republicans, we’re in no mood for additional compromise. It’s time to get, for people to get back to work and vote on the issues that are on the agenda," he told Texas Standard.

Members of the San Antonio state legislative delegation plan a news conference tomorrow to discuss their first week holed-up in Washington, D.C.

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