Travis County District Attorney candidates face questions on drugs, race, and the criminal justice system

February 9, 2020

AUSTIN (KXAN) — All three candidate vying to serve as Travis County’s District Attorney came face-to-face at a forum on Sunday afternoon. They are competing in what could be one of the most contentious local races in the March 3 primary election.

The three candidates are: current Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore, who was elected in 2016, Workers Defense Project co-director Jose Garza, and defense attorney/victim service advocate Erin Martinson. They were questioned before an audience at a packed church on the role prosecutors play in promoting public health approaches to drug use, harm reduction, and pre-arrest diversion programs. 

The forum was hosted by Grassroots Leadership, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition and Texas Harm Reduction Alliance. These groups published findings last week that showed black people living in Travis County represent 29.4% of drug possession arrests, while making up just 8.9% of the population.