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Democrat John Creuzot Soundly Defeats Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson

John Creuzot will be the next district attorney of Dallas County. Creuzot, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Republican Faith Johnson, who'd been appointed to the job. The margin of victory was a resounding 20 percentage points.

Creuzot’s known as a reformer. A judge for 21 years, he launched a program that helped non-violent offenders reduce jail time and cut the number of repeat crimes. As the new district attorney, Creuzot says he’ll continue pushing for criminal justice reform.

“Ending mass incarceration, let’s work on it, and let's be smart on crime," he said. "Let's reduce taxpayer expenditures and reduce crime at the same time. That’s what I’ve always done and will continue to do it."

Creuzot has one specific reform in mind: Anyone with less than 4 ounces of marijuana won’t be prosecuted.

“As a practical matter, I mean we’re basically there already," he said. "For example, I had a client recently who had to buy 12 cans of food to give to the North Texas Food Bank and his case was dismissed. I mean why are we even wasting time doing that?”

Creuzot said he’ll also tackle tougher reforms that involve felony offenses. Those will take more time.

Johnson congratulated Creuzot and said she would help with the transition. She's been in the job since since 2016, when Gov. Greg Abbott appointed her to replace a fellow Republican, Susan Hawk. The first woman to hold the job, Hawk stepped down because of mental health issues.

Creuzot said he’ll now look to see what he wants to change about how Johnson organized the office, and also look at hiring his staff and setting his priorities. 

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.