Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, a Democrat, defeated Republican challenger Faith Johnson on Tuesday for a second term.
Creuzot, who led all evening, thanked voters and vowed to “work hard” over the next four years.
“We’re going to continue to be data-based,” Creuzot said. “We’re going to continue to partner with our police agencies ... and we’re going to continue to hold violent people accountable and look for ways to get the vulnerable populations out of the criminal justice system.”
Creuzot said he’ll continue policies that seek to decriminalize the poor and mentally ill and people of color. However, Creuzot, who is Black, said on the campaign trail that he would consider doing away with his controversial theft policy that stops prosecutions of misdemeanor-level thefts of essential items like food and diapers, citing data that show those crimes are on the decline.
This was the second time Johnson and Creuzot faced off. Creuzot won in 2018 with 60% of the vote over Johnson.
“Although the results were not what I expected, I accept the will of the people,” Johnson said Wednesday morning.
Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Johnson to the role in December 2016 after the elected DA, Susan Hawk, resigned because of health problems. The appointment made Johnson the county’s first Black woman DA.
Johnson, who preceded Creuzot in office, ran a campaign centered on undoing Creuzot’s policies that limit prosecution of misdemeanor thefts and marijuana crimes. She said police and business owners are fed up with Creuzot’s policies.
“Obviously the voters don’t agree with her,” Creuzot said. “In the marketplace of ideas, she hasn’t sold many of them.”
Creuzot outraised Johnson during the campaign. They drew hefty donations from billionaire businessmen George Soros and Robert Rowling. Creuzot raised $1.07 million, while Johnson brought in $885,944, according to reports filed with the county.
Creuzot and Johnson were hired as prosecutors by the late Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade in the 1980s. They also both served as felony court judges. Johnson was a judge just over 17 years, and Creuzot was on the bench more than 21 years, according to their bios.
Creuzot gained a national profile as a reform-minded DA and, before that, an innovative judge for his work on drug courts. A county in-patient drug treatment facility in Wilmer was named for Creuzot before he became DA.