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Big bucks for district attorney candidates

Friday, July 19, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Local attorney José Garza is challenging incumbent Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore in a race that may or may not turn out to be about how many indigent people who haven’t been convicted of a crime are waiting in jail for their day in court. Garza, former co-executive director of the Workers Defense Project, reported raising more than $57,000 on his July 15 campaign finance report. But Moore, who has many years in politics and many well-heeled friends, reported raising more than $152,000 during the first six months of this year, bringing her contribution balance to more than $198,000. Moore received $1,000 contributions from local union AFSCME and from attorneys such as Bill Aleshire and Rick Cofer. She also received a $10,000 contribution from the Blackridge lobby firm, which is led by longtime state lobbyist Rusty Kelley, and $15,000 from the law firm Minton Bassett Flores & Carsey. Somewhat surprisingly, Garza, the nephew of former City Manager Jesús Garza, reported a contribution of $10,526.63 from Serena Simmons Connelly of Dallas. Connelly, the daughter of a Republican billionaire who founded the Harold Simmons Foundation, has reportedly made numerous donations to Democrats, including the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

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