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Campaign Countdown in Dallas D-A's Race

Danny Clancy, Craig Watkins

By BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas, TX – The candidates for Dallas County District Attorney are making their final pitches to voters. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

Republican candidate for District Attorney, Danny Clancy greets early voters at Garland City Hall. Clancy and District Attorney, Democrat Craig Watkins are coming to the end of a year-long campaign.

Clancy: I think that we have run an outstanding campaign. I believe that the message has resonated, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Watkins: I'm feeling pretty good. You just have to keep pushing your message and your issue and hope voters will respond to that.

Both candidates say they will be campaigning until the polls close. Watkins feels his campaign and Dallas County Democrats have the momentum.

Watkins: There was an issue about how we pursued prosecutions in Dallas County. We changed that.

Watkins' Conviction Integrity Unit has exonerated more wrongfully convicted men than any county in the U.S. The D-A says he's also created an Elder Abuse unit, Mortgage fraud unit, as well as special prostitution and veterans courts.

Danny Clancy says there's more to the District Attorney's office than exonerations, and shouting matches with County Commissioners over the budget.

Clancy: People are hearing the message, experience vs. inexperience. It's competence vs. incompetence.

Clancy says the top prosecutor of the County should actually have experience prosecuting cases. Clancy says he does, and Watkins doesn't.

Clancy: I will personally handle the most violent offenses that come across my desk. I'll do that because I care.

Watkins says his "style" has been controversial, but he says that's because he's changed the traditional role of District Attorney and the way the office operates.

Watkins: We have the best run D-A's office in the country. We've implemented policies and procedures that have made you safer -- that have been innovative.

The race for D-A has been contentious and is one of the most competitive on the Dallas County ballot.

Email BJ Austin