Here’s the full Chron story about Kim Ogg’s declaration that she will run for Harris County DA as a Democrat in 2014.
“I have the varied experience in policy, in prevention and in prosecution that I think gives me a broad overview of the system,” Ogg told reporters on the steps of the historic 1910 Harris County Courthouse. “The problems we face are complex.”
Ogg, 54, is the first Democrat to announce a run against Devon Anderson, who was appointed last week to complete her recently deceased husband’s term and is expected to run in the Republican primary in March.
Ogg said she applauds Anderson, 47, for taking over the unexpired term, but said the widow is not yet the GOP nominee.
“I look forward to debating real issues with whoever the Republican nominee is,” she said.
Ogg said her first order of business would be to reverse the district attorney’s so-called “trace case” policy.
Ogg also said the district attorney’s office should be working harder to keep the mentally ill out of jail.
“I’m afraid we’ve got the jails full of low-level mentally ill people rather than the truly dangerous people who are running our streets.”
See here for the background. Ogg is right to focus on the causes of the uptick in the Harris County jail population, which definitely is something a DA can affect. Focusing on mental illness and the need to divert the mentally ill from jail to treatment is a good and productive thing to do, too. (Expanding Medicaid would also have a significant positive effect on this problem, but alas, that is something that the DA – and the Sheriff, and the County Judge – do not have any control over.) I’d like to see Ogg address the issue of personal recognizance bonds as well, but this is a good start.
One more point of interest from the story:
Among dozens of other supporters who watched Ogg announce, former First Assistant Jim Leitner said he is behind Ogg.
“I’m supporting her because she the right person for the job,” Leitner said. “I’ve been able to see firsthand how she works ‘outside the box’ to get the problem of crime solved in Harris County.”
Leitner ran unsuccessfully in the GOP primary in 2008 and became the top lieutenant for the eventual winner, Lykos.
This may be a suggestion that the Pat Lykos supporters will fight their battle in November rather than March, which if so would seem to be a wise choice given that the result last March was lopsided while the result last November was close. I don’t know if Leitner is representing a group or just speaking for himself, and either way that doesn’t mean Devon Anderson will have a clear path to the GOP nomination. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting. Murray Newman has more.