Wide-open race shaping up for Tarrant DA

Posted Sunday, Oct. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon’s decision to not seek another term didn’t exactly shock many people.

The 72-year-old prosecutor already had a big bulls-eye on his back following a sexual harassment claim that was settled last year. Four other candidates had already announced they planned to run against him in Republican Party primary next year.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Wes Ball, a defense attorney who has said he will run for district attorney. The other GOP candidates are former state District Judge Sharen Wilson, former judge and Assistant District Attorney Bob Gill and attorney George Mackey.

But Shannon is ignoring calls for him to step down before his term ends in 2015.

He told employees that he hopes his successor will “continue the tradition of honesty and integrity which has been the watchword of this office for over 40 years.”

But he stressed that he hasn’t left the building yet.

“I’m going to be around another 15 months. I’m not going to drop off the face of the earth, although some would probably wish I would,” Shannon said.

Local honor

State Sen. Jane Nelson recently was honored with the Champion for Education Award by the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame.

Nelson, R-Flower Mound, received the award — the first one given out — through the Fighting for Our Children’s Future National Bus Tour, which honors those who help make education for accessible to all children.

“We are thrilled to be able to present our inaugural Notre Dame Champion of Education Award to Sen. Jane Nelson, who has a long and distinguished career of putting children first,” said the Rev. Tim Scully, director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives at Notre Dame.

He said the award is to honor those committed to helping children, and inspiring them. “Sen. Nelson epitomizes these goals and this commitment, and has done so throughout her life,” he said.

Salary to Wounded Warriors

U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, has now decided to donate his salary during the shutdown to the Wounded Warriors program. Previously, his spokesman James Williams said that for each day he would donate the money to a different charity in his district. Members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate make $174,000 a year.

An invigorating candidate

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, is invigorating both Democrats and Republicans in Texas.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa has said Davis will have grassroots ground support like never seen before.

In fact, out-of-state Democrats are expected to come in to Texas to block-walk and do other campaigning.

Texas Republicans say Democrats won’t be out block-walking alone.

When thousands of Republicans descend on Fort Worth in June 2014 for their state party convention and a presidential straw poll, Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri said they may do a little block-walking of their own — in Fort Worth, Davis’ hometown.

Staff writer Max B. Baker contributed to this report.

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