Gonzales Defeats Incumbent DA In Democratic Primary

Mar 7, 2018

Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood will not get a second term in office after losing in the Democratic primary to criminal defense attorney Joe Gonzales. Gonzales won in a landslide victory.

LaHood conceded soon after he arrived at his campaign party, and told supporters he lost because of money from outside Texas was injected into the race.

“In my opinion, the voters were unfairly influenced by one million dollars worth of lies — there’s no other way to say it,” he said.

Gonzales, who won with 59 percent of the vote, said the campaign contribution was less than that amount, but it helped him deliver his message.

“It facilitated my ability to take to the voters what was important in this race — which is to bring true justice reform,” he said. “That’s the reason we won — not because somebody infused an amount of cash into this race.”

LaHood won the district attorney seat in 2014, unseating longtime DA Susan Reed. On Tuesday night, he said he would not be supporting Gonzales in the November general election.

“I don’t change my opinion just because the results are the same. If I always felt he was lying about me, I think that’s a character issue for any district attorney or candidate,” LaHood said.

Since becoming DA, LaHood had taken controversial stances such as using his official capacity to promote anti-vaccination campaigns.

Nico LaHood supporters during the incumbent Democrat's concession speech.
Credit Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

Gonzales will now face Republican Tylden Shaeffer in general election.

“I want to focus on fighting violent crime I want to focus on reducing those numbers of dismissals in the domestic violence area and then I want to focus on restorative justice,” Gonzales said.

Shaeffer, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary, said he believes Bexar County deserves better leadership in the district attorney’s office.

“Now we’re going to have new leadership and it will just be a question of what style,” Shaeffer.

  • WATCH | Gonzales delivers his victory speech at  Tomatillos Cafe Y Cantina

Joey Palacios can be reached at Joey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules