Travis County District Attorney • Democratic Candidates Q&A

Gary Cobb Gary Cobb[/caption]

Gary Cobb

Experience includes: prosecuted felony jury trials in the Travis County District Attorney’s Office for more than 25 years and handled an estimated 200 jury trials, including successfully convicting Tom DeLay; personally prosecuted some of the most difficult cases that have been handled by our district attorney’s office; supervised attorneys

What is your top priority if you are elected?

Restore trust in the DA’s office. 

I believe that the DA’s office, law enforcement agencies and the overall community must all be partners in working together to create a safer community. The partnership must be based on common goals and values that all stakeholders share and are committed to working toward. The DA’s office must work with and within the larger community to create strong relationships that will restore trust and confidence that our commitment to justice is unwavering and equitable to all. 

I believe our office must train prosecutors to be aware of and to avoid the mistakes and biases that commonly lead to wrongful convictions, convictions that erode public trust. We have a tremendously talented staff, and I commit that from the top down we will work each day with professionalism and respect for our community and for the laws
we enforce.

Margaret Moore Margaret Moore[/caption]

Margaret Moore

Experience includes: Prosecuted felony cases in court and managed an office with a multimillion-dollar budget; served as Travis County attorney and instituted the first deferred prosecution program in the county, the use of videos in DWI cases and the use of counseling programs; served as Travis County juvenile public defender

What is your top priority if you are elected?

My first order of business will be:

  • fostering trust and confidence both inside and outside the office through communication, community outreach and collaboration;

  • exploring the expansion of diversion programs to address over­incarceration that costs our community dearly;

  • approaching the Legislature to restore funding for the Public Integrity Unit;

  • continuing to prosecute recalcitrant polluters all over the state on behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; and

  • working with the business community to increase education about environmental requirements.


Rick Reed Rick Reed[/caption]

Rick Reed

Experience includes: has 30 years of experience in criminal law and tried more than 500 contested criminal cases including almost 350 jury trials; served as assistant district attorney for the Dallas County Criminal District Attorney’s Office for 12 years, including serving as chief felony prosecutor in three district courts

What is your top priority if you are elected?

My top priority will be to restore public confidence in the district attorney’s office. Unfortunately, certain events have occurred during recent years that have eroded public confidence in that office. Many citizens have come to believe that public officials, including the district attorney, the chief law enforcement officer of Travis County, no longer consider themselves accountable to the citizens whom they are elected to serve. I believe that elected officials, and the individuals whom they employ, are first and foremost public servants. As such they should hold themselves to the highest legal and ethical standards, and they should never forget that they are servants of their constituents, not vice-versa.

To restore public confidence in the district attorney’s office, I will establish a strict code of conduct that will apply to every employee of the district attorney’s office, including the district attorney and first assistant district attorney.

The unopposed Republican candidate running for Travis County district attorney is Maura Phelan.