May 14, 2021

Travis County attorney runoff pits expertise against experience – News – Herald Democrat

In a race that pits authorized experience towards political expertise, Assistant County Legal professional Laurie Eiserloh and Austin Metropolis Council Member Delia Garza are the final two ladies standing.

The 2 candidates are dealing with off within the July 14 Democratic runoff election to switch Travis County Legal professional David Escamilla after he retires on the finish of this yr. And not using a Republican within the race, the winner of July’s runoff will probably be the brand new county lawyer.

Assistant County Legal professional Laurie Eiserloh and Austin Metropolis Council Member Delia Garza are vying to be the one that oversees a division with two sections: a legal division that handles misdemeanor circumstances and a civil division that represents elected county officers in litigation issues.

Early voting started Monday and can run by means of July 10.

Earlier this yr, Eiserloh and Garza defeated Democratic candidates former Decide Mike Denton and protection lawyer Dominic Selvera within the major election.

Eiserloh has practiced authorities regulation for 27 years, working for the Texas lawyer normal’s workplace, a neighborhood personal agency, town of Austin and the county lawyer’s workplace. She has been a Travis County assistant county lawyer since 2010 and works within the civil litigation division, specializing in labor regulation.

Garza was an Austin firefighter for six years earlier than she acquired her regulation diploma in 2010. She was a regulation clerk for the Texas Civil Rights Venture in 2010 and was an assistant lawyer normal from 2011 to 2014 for the Texas lawyer normal’s workplace earlier than she grew to become an Austin Metropolis Council member.

Garza has made her marketing campaign about legal justice reform points, equivalent to ending money bail and declining prosecution of low-level theft offenses.

“Our present system works effective when you’ve got entry to wealth or privilege,” she has mentioned. “Our present system is stuffed with racial disparities in our policing, in our convictions and in our jails.”

Nevertheless, Eiserloh has additionally emphasised reform relating to points equivalent to psychological well being diversion and extreme arrests and detentions in her personal marketing campaign.

“I believe in Travis County, we’ve acquired to get actual about our lack of psychological well being diversion. … Proper now, we’ve acquired no place to divert them to,” Eiserloh has mentioned. “Individuals with psychological sickness, they don’t must be jailed. They must be handled. That’s one factor we have to take a look at.”

Each candidates have mentioned they need to finish the backlog of home violence circumstances within the county court docket.

All through her marketing campaign, Garza has needed to deal with critics who’ve pointed to her restricted authorized expertise. She has argued that her intensive public coverage expertise makes up for it.

“This isn’t a contest of who’s been within the system the longest,” Garza has mentioned. “In actual fact, it could’t be a contest of that as a result of there must be change.”

Eiserloh contends that she has probably the most expertise shifting circumstances by means of the courts.

“I’m not saying different folks don’t have good expertise of their areas,” she mentioned. “However this workplace is a regulation workplace, and I’m a lawyer — double board-certified — with 27 years of litigation expertise.”

Escamilla, who declined to endorse one of many 4 candidates within the primaries, earlier this month endorsed Eiserloh.

“I really feel a accountability to assist be certain that this workplace enters a brand new period below the course of a robust, considerate chief,” Escamilla mentioned in a written assertion.

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