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Reed endorses Montford in District Attorney’s race

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 by Austin Monitor

Mindy Montford picked up the support of former rival Rick Reed on Monday in the runoff for Travis County District Attorney. Reed, a former prosecutor who was one of the original four candidates in the Democratic Party primary earlier this month, said he had always planned to back Montford if his campaign was un-successful.


“I have known Mindy for nine years, and there is no question in my mind that Mindy Montford has the integrity and the professionalism, as well as the energy, that is needed in order to administer the Travis County District Attorney’s office,” Reed said. “I have observed her over the years, and I have never observed any indication that she had any concern or interest in any particular case other than seeing justice is done,” Reed said. “Partisanship has never been a factor.”


Reed made his endorsement in front of the downtown office building housing CLEAT, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas.   CLEAT Political and Legislative Director Charley Wilkinson stood with Montford and Reed at Monday’s announcement, and Montford has been endorsed by four of the local public safety employee unions. Her opponent in the runoff, First Assistant DA Rosemary Lehmberg, last week received the support of the other former candidate, Gary Cobb.


Reed stepped down from his position in the DA’s office during his campaign and said on Monday that his endorsement of Montford was not related to any desire on his part to return to work the office. “There is no agreement and there never has been,” he said. “It’s not an issue I have thought a whole lot about. In the event that Mindy is elected and I decide I want to return to the DA’s office, I wouldn’t hesitate to call her up and ask her for an opportunity. It may turn out in January that I’m doing something that I’m content with and I may not want to go back.”


Reed was also joined on Monday by John Hernandez, who serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Austin Community College. Hernandez said he was supporting Montford, in part, based on the endorsement of the local public safety unions and CLEAT. “When I heard they had endorsed her, I was really pleased to be here,” he said, “because I know how important it is for them to get their employees educated.”


The runoff election in the Democratic Party primary is April 8. Lehmberg, who was endorsed by current DA Ronnie Earle, received 36 percent of the vote to Montford’s 31 percent. Gary Cobb placed third with 21 percent followed by Rick Reed with 12 percent.

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