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Meet the Primary Candidates: Denton County Criminal District Attorney

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On March 6, voters will go to the polls to select their nominees for political office at the county, state and federal levels.

The winners of the Republican and Democratic primaries become their respective party’s nominees for the Nov. 6, 2018 general election.

Early voting for the March 6 elections runs from Tuesday, Feb. 20 to Friday, March 2. Find more voter information on the Denton County Elections Administration website at www.votedenton.com.

The Cross Timbers Gazette emailed questionnaires to candidates in selected contested Primary Elections. Returned questionnaires are listed by office in alphabetical order, unless there’s an incumbent (*) up for re-election.

Denton County Criminal District Attorney (REPUBLICAN)

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson, [*Incumbent]

Age:  59

City/Town of Residence: Highland Village

Current Occupation:  Criminal District Attorney

Education: Undergraduate – University of Texas at Arlington – 1981, Juris Doctorate – University of Houston – 1984

Public service: I am the current Criminal District Attorney and have been since 2007. I worked in the District Attorney’s office as an Assistant DA for 15 years. I am a 10 year Board Member of the Denton County Children’s Advocacy Center. I serve on the UNT Criminal Justice Professional Advisory Council. I am a member of the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association. I am a supporter of CASA, Friends of the Family and Ranch Hand Rescue. I have been a Coach with the YMCA and GLASA.

Why should you be re-elected? I have the experience and the qualifications necessary to lead the largest law firm in Denton Co and keeping citizens safe. I have been a lawyer for 33 years – practicing in both the civil and criminal areas. Since being elected in 2007, I have led a staff of 129 employees, and overseeing a budget that is over $15 million. I have the support of 17 Chiefs of Police and several law enforcement associations. I work hand in hand with the Commissioner’s Court safeguarding taxpayer dollars.

Top Priorities: Growth is our main challenge. The population will soon exceed one million. With growth, there is a potential for a rise in crime. The County will be getting two more courts immediately with more expected in the near future. It is critical to elect a Criminal District Attorney with the necessary experience to tackle the challenges and to lead such a large office. The Commissioner’s set our budget. We work with them to do more with less. I am a fiscal conservative and have a proven track record.

Endorsements: Dr. Michael Burgess – US House Rep; Mary Horn – County Judge; Ron Marchant – Commissioner Pct. 2; Andy Eads – Commissioner Pct. 3; Bobbie Mitchell – Commissioner Pct. 4; Charlotte Wilcox – Mayor; Tom Hayden – Mayor; Mike Donnelly – Mayor; Mike Lombardo – City Council; Tracy Murphree – Sheriff; Corey Blount – Chief Bartonville PD; Andy Kancel – Chief FMPD; Doug Reim – Chief HVPD; Derrick Watson – Chief DOPD; Tim Burch – Constable; The Colony Police Association; Flower Mound Police Association

Website: pauljohnsonda.com

Brent Bowen

Brent Bowen

Age:  41

City/Town of Residence: Argyle

Current Occupation: Attorney

Education: Attended Samford University – Letterman in Football; BA Political Science – Baylor University; JD Washburn University School of Law

Public service: Shawnee County District Attorneys’s Office – Assistant – Intern Prosecutor; Johnson County County Attorney’s Office – Assistant County Attorney; Denton County District Attorney’s Office – Assistant District Attorney

Why should you be elected? I have worked for 3 different elected prosecutors and I bring a new perspective to the office. I will work hard to make the DA’s one of the top office’s in the state. In the past, the DA’s office has been marred by law suits and misconduct. Violent offenders have been freed or received reduced sentences due to errors in the DA’s office. The Denton County Law Enforcement Assoc. has not endorsed the 3 term incumbent. I will improve Veteran’s Court. I will seek the death penalty when appropriate.

Top Priorities: The first challenge is to improve intake, it should not take months or years to file misdemeanor and felony cases. Next we need to improve technology so prosecutors are working up cases and not making copies. Too much time is spent copying reports and videos. Next is to train staff and law enforcement. Finally, we need a policy and procedure manual to ensure uniformity among the courts. I also want to be mindful of taxpayer dollars and to avoid the waist of tax dollars to defend the DA lawsuits.

Endorsements: Denton County Conservative Coalition; Hon. Brian Livingston – Frisco City Council; Hon. John McGee – Highland Village City Council; Hon. Michelle Schwolert – Highland Village City Council; Hon. Gerard & Diana Hudspeth – Denton City Council; Constable Jerry Rayburn; Shelli Hammons – Pct. Chair; Mike & Alicia Norwood, Tacor Inc.

Website: www.brentbowenforda.com

Candidate Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BrentforDA/

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