Kim Ogg, the Democrat who unsuccessfully ran for district attorney last year, launched her second bid for the office Friday, promising to pursue violent criminals, de-emphasize misdemeanor marijuana possession cases and aggressively combat prosecutorial misconduct.
Ogg took a series of jabs at how the incumbent Republican, Devon Anderson, has chosen to prioritize some cases over others, hinting that a rise in violent crime was being met with over-incarceration of low level, mostly black and Hispanic, nonviolent offenders.
Challenger Ogg said she spent the time since her last campaign researching law enforcement programs that are tested and proven elsewhere in the nation, and this time she is better equipped with programs that will turn the office around.
In her kickoff event across from the Harris County criminal courthouse, Ogg criticized Anderson for lenient handing of a misconduct case against a Houston Police homicide detective charged with failing to investigate 24 murder cases involving black and Hispanic victims.
She also accused Anderson of making a novice mistake, jumping to conclusions about the motive of an African-American suspect charged in the shooting of Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth. Without evidence, Ogg said, the DA linked the suspect to a legitimate civil rights movement.
“It’s the DA alone who determines who will be charged and with what crime. The DA holds the key to the front door of the courthouse and the back door of the jail,” she said, “a lawyer’s job boils down to judgment.”
Anderson, according to her challenger, “lacks the experience and judgment to successfully carry out the duties of district attorney.”
Game on already, it would seem. Ogg ran slightly ahead of the Democratic baseline in the dumpster fire that was 2014. A Presidential year, as 2016 will be, ought to give her a boost. Ogg hit some themes from 2014 in her announcement – it wasn’t in the story, but I figure marijuana prosecution policy will come up sooner or later. I’m not paying very close attention to 2016 just yet – we still have to survive this year, after all – but as filing season begins four weeks after Election Day – before the runoffs, in other words – it’s hard to avoid. Dems still need to fill out the rest of the countywide slate, and I’d prefer sooner rather than later. Now that Ogg has made her entry official, I hope candidates for other offices will follow.