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Bexar County DA formally announces re-election bid

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales
Brian Kirkpatrick
/
Texas Public Radio
Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales on Tuesday formally announced his re-election bid during an appearance at Bexar County Democratic Headquarters.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales on Tuesday formally announced his re-election bid at county Democratic headquarters.

Gonzales said he's proud of his office of 500 for doing their best during the pandemic.

His office handles around 60,000 criminal cases a year, so his focus is on prosecuting the most violent offenders and family violence cases.

Gonzales said his cite-and-release program for low-level offenses sets him aside from his GOP opponent Meredith Chacon.

"I think that's difference between myself and my potential opponent is that she is talking about the old way of thinking of just being tough on crime. I would hate to see everything we've done be undone by removing all the reforms we've had huge success with,” he said.

Geronimo Guerra, president of Communication Workers of America Local 6143, said Gonzales has the union's backing because of his cite-and-release approach.

"We do believe that it does effects people's jobs. You know, when people get caught with misdemeanor crimes, it ruins their background. It can ruin their employment. One thing that Joe has done, he's been really good on the actual cite-and-release program, which benefits working class people,” Guerra said.

Gonzales on Tuesday also announced an endorsement from the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association, a union representing local firefighters.

Chacon, a longtime prosecutor in the DA's office, said Bexar County leads the state in the dismissal of family violence cases and has one of the lowest conviction rates in those cases.

Gonzales has been DA since 2019 and has a long history as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney.

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian