José Garza wins Travis County district attorney primary runoff with 68% of the vote

2020 primary runoff
Read here to see live returns on the 2020 Democratic primary runoff contest for Travis County district attorney. (Community Impact staff)

Read here to see live returns on the 2020 Democratic primary runoff contest for Travis County district attorney. (Community Impact staff)


José Garza collected more than 81,000 votes from Travis County democrats—68.3% of all votes tallied—in a decisive victory over incumbent Margaret Moore to be the party's nominee for the county office in November. Moore received 37,874 votes, or 31.7%.

“Tonight in Travis County, the people chose bold reform," Garza said in a statement July 14. "I want to thank all the people who made this election possible—the thousands of organizers who knocked doors when we could, who sent text messages and made phone calls and helped spread our shared message of change. This is your victory, your movement and your night."


Less than one hour after the first vote totals were posted on the Travis County Clerk's Office website, José Garza has won the race to earn the Democrat candidacy for this fall's Travis County district attorney race.

Incumbent Margaret Moore released a statement July 14 shortly after the early vote results were posted, in which she conceded the race and offered a congratulations to Garza.

"I want to thank the voters of Travis County for giving me the opportunity to serve our community over the last three years. The District Attorney's Office has made significant improvements to ensure police officers are being held accountable, to prioritize the prosecution of sexual assault cases and establish new diversion programs for first-time offenders. I'm very proud of the progress we have made thus far. Congratulations to my opponent for his victory tonight. I wish him well in the future," Moore said in the statement.

Austin City Council Member Gregorio Casar spoke during a virtual election party hosted by Garza's campaign, offering praise for the new candidate.

"This is such a special, important moment for all of us in the county," Casar said. "I thought we were going to win, but [a 60% to 30% margin] goes to show something really huge happening in our country is happening in our county."

Garza will now face off against Republican candidate Martin Harry in the Nov. 3 general election.


After strong early voting turnout across Travis County, José Garza leads in the primary runoff contest to be the Democrat Travis County District Attorney candidate in this fall’s general election.

Early returns show Garza is leading with 68.01% of all votes reported. Incumbent Margaret Moore has so far earned 31.99% of votes.

Garza collected more than double the votes cast for Moore during early voting, with a total of 49,531 early votes compared to 19,232 early votes cast for Moore.

Moore is the incumbent Travis County district attorney, serving her first term after first being elected in 2016. Previous to that, Moore served as Travis County assistant district attorney, Travis County attorney and twice served as Travis County commissioner, appointed by the county judge.

Garza currently serves as the executive director of the Workers Defense Project, a nonprofit workers’ rights organization. Previously, Garza has worked as special counsel to the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., and as deputy general counsel for the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor.

Moore and Garza made it to the July 14 primary runoff after neither candidate garnered more than 50% of the vote in the Democrat primary election held March 3. The winner of this primary runoff will go on to face Republican candidate Martin Harry.

Nearly 70,000 Travis County residents cast ballots early this year, according to numbers from the Travis County Clerk's Office. An additional 17,983 voters cast ballots by mail.

Election night results are always unofficial until they are canvassed by the Travis County Clerk's Office. Voters who elected to receive a ballot by mail will have their vote tallied as long as their ballot is postmarked by July 14. This year, according to the clerk's office, more than 32,000 Travis County residents requested a ballot by mail.
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


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