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Elections Forum: Bexar County District Attorney's Race Heats Up Ahead Of 2018 Primaries

(L-R) Nico LaHood, Tylden Shaeffer, Joe Gonzales
Two Democrats and one Republican candidate are in the running for Bexar County District Attorney.

Early voting for the March 6 primary elections starts Tuesday. Texas Public Radio's "The Source" is hosting a series of forums with candidates leading up the 2018 midterm elections.

For the three candidates in the race for Bexar County Criminal District Attorney, this will be final forum before early voting begins on Feb. 20

District attorneys are responsible for leading prosecutions on behalf of local government and often set precedents for criminal justice and public safety policies in the area. 

Bexar County's chief prosecutor, District Attorney Nico LaHood, is seeking another term. First elected in 2014, the incumbent has since launched a number of initiatives, including a unit specific to investigating child abuse and a "cite and release" process for select misdemeanors.

LaHood is no stranger to controversy during his time in office, but makes no apologies for his beliefs. He must face former business partner and fellow Democrat Joe Gonzales in what's been a contentious race to secure his party's nomination. 

Gonzales has worked for both the Bexar and Harris County DA's offices and has been a criminal defense attorney in San Antonio for over 20 years.

After the March 6 primaries, the Democratic nominee will go up against Republican Tylden Shaeffer – his party's sole candidate – in the November elections.

Shaeffer spent almost a decade of his career in the Bexar County DA's Office and opened his own practice as a defense attorney in 2000. 

With three experienced lawyers on the ballot, what are voters looking for in a candidate for Bexar County District Attorney? From the community's perspective, which criminal justice issues take priority? 


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"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. During the live show, call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet at @TPRSource. Leave a voicemail with your questions and comments in advance by calling 210-615-8982.

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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.