Accusations and hard feelings dominate DA debate

- DA Devon Anderson does not like challenger Kim Ogg.

This we know.

"She has no integrity. She has the mindset of a defense attorney and a politician. You can hear it in every word she says. She's playing them like a fiddle," said Anderson.

In turn, Kim Ogg contends Anderson is, at best, incompetent and at worst, corrupt and racist.

"I believe that those laws have been unfairly applied in minority communities, unfairly applied to minority young men, unfairly applied to the poor and those who can't fight back," said Ogg.

In a debate rife with open hostility, Ogg accused Anderson of incarcerating a constant flow of Black and Hispanic low-level offenders caught with pot.

"8,000 people are still going to jail in Harris County for possession of misdemeanor marijuana, tiny amounts. Our taxpayers can have their tax dollars spent more wisely to protect them, not to simply run up conviction numbers," said Ogg.

Anderson says that's unfair because she's implemented meaningful reform through the First Chance intervention program for initial offenders.

"They do not get booked into jail. They do not have to hire a lawyer. They do not have to make bond," said Anderson.

And Anderson stood by her prosecutors' controversial decision to jail a rape victim to insure her testimony at trial.

Ogg pounced, claiming sexual assault prosecutions had plummeted under the current DA.

"When women or men think that they are going to be jailed when they come forward with a crime as sensitive and as humiliating as the crime of rape is, you may begin to understand why these numbers are lower than they've ever been," said Ogg.

Anderson would later swing back hard labeling Ogg "unfit to serve".

"For the past ten years she's been representing people that we put in prison everyday, child molesters, dope dealers, murderers even human smugglers," said Anderson.

Monday's debate was the only scheduled meeting in a contest the latest poll has a dead heat.

Rice political analyst Mark Jones says the race for Harris County DA is one of three spotlight elections in Texas this cycle.

 

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