Gill drops out of race for Tarrant County district attorney

Posted Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Bob Gill has bowed out of the race to become Tarrant County’s next district attorney.

Gill, a deputy chief in the district attorney’s office, said in a statement this weekend that he instead wants to focus on family and on outside interests.

“…After 31 years of dedicated public service, I find myself less than fully committed to continuing with this career. Consequently, I have made a heartfelt decision that will enable me to spend more time on family and private interests,” Gill said in the statement. “While my years of serving the people of Tarrant County as a judge and as a criminal prosecutor has been a fulfilling life’s work, it is time that my family come first.”

Gill, who served five terms as a state judge before retiring in 2007 and rejoining the district attorney’s office, announced in June that he would run for the DA’s post.

In an email to the Star-Telegram, Gill declined further comment.

“My campaign released a statement. I can confirm the details in the statement, and I'll stand on that,” Gill wrote.

Tarrant County District Clerk Tom Wilder said Gill would have brought years of experience from the DA’s office and judiciary to the position.

“I’m sad to see him leave the race,” Wilder said Saturday. “He gave voters a qualified choice.”

Gill’s departure leaves a handful of other candidates vying to replace Joe Shannon, the current district attorney, who recently announced he would not seek re-election and would retire at the end of his term.

Last month, former state District Judge Sharen Wilson jumped into the race, determined if elected to “right the ship” and properly lead the “scandal plagued” district attorney’s office.

Wilson retired from the felony district court bench she held for 23 years to throw her hat into the race for the Republican Party nomination in next year’s March primary.

Veteran attorneys and former prosecutors Wes Ball and George Mackey have also said they are in the race.

Shannon, 72, has served as district attorney since 2009, when Gov. Rick Perry appointed him to serve out the term of the late District Attorney Tim Curry. He was elected to a full four-year term in 2010, but some said he was considered vulnerable after a $375,000 settlement by the county of a sexual harassment claim brought by a former assistant district attorney. Shannon has denied her accusations.

The Tarrant County Democratic Party, so far, has not fielded a candidate.

Filing for next year’s primary begins Nov. 9.

This report includes information from the Star-Telegram archives.

Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610 Twitter: @annatinsley

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