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Chron overview of DA race

There’s a simple question at the core of the race for Harris County District Attorney.

Kim Ogg

Kim Ogg

For two years, in the early 1990s, Kim Ogg and Devon Anderson worked in the same office under legendary Harris County District Attorney Johnny Holmes.

Houston at the time was in the throes of a crime spike that sent the city’s homicide numbers soaring as crack cocaine and drug-related violence were roiling cities across the nation. Harris County led the country in death penalty verdicts, cementing the reputations of Holmes and the district attorney’s office as among America’s toughest and most aggressive prosecutors.

Ogg already was a senior prosecutor when Anderson joined the office in 1992 as a “baby DA.” Though they rarely crossed paths at the time – the office employs more than 200 lawyers – the two carved out reputations as hard-charging assistant district attorneys with more than 100 prosecutions to their names.

Whatever experience they may have shared as prosecutors, the two have taken widely divergent paths since getting their starts in the office they now want to lead. And it is those differing paths that inform their ideas on how the office should be run.

[…]

Her long experience at the office is one of the reasons former district attorney Chuck Rosenthal is supporting Anderson.

“I just think she’s a better candidate and would do a better job,” he said. By working as a prosecutor, then as a judge, he said, Anderson has stayed in the courthouse and knows more about how the office should be run.

Robert Scardino, a criminal defense lawyer for more than 40 years, said he is supporting Ogg because he hopes she will modernize the office.

“I think that office needs to have a change in its entire perspective and approach,” he said. “It’s been going in the same direction for many, many years. I think she’ll bring it into the modern age with some ideas on how to make it run more efficiently.”

That last bit encapsulates what I’ve said before about this race. Putting all partisan considerations aside, if you like the way the DA’s office has been run for however long it’s been since Johnny Holmes was first elected, minus the four years that Pat Lykos was in office, then Devon Anderson is the DA for you. If you think it’s time for a change, and/or if you liked Lykos, then you should vote for Kim Ogg. That’s about all there is to it. Partisan considerations may overshadow that dynamic, in which case it may get re-litigated in 2016. If not – if Harris is close to 50-50 overall – then we’ll at least have an answer to that question.

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