Houston District Attorney Anderson holds off Ogg after marijuana policy battle
After months of back and forth in an elected centered around changing how the judicial system in Harris County would treat those caught with marijuana, incumbent Devon Anderson has held off Democratic challenger Kim Ogg for the win.
Anderson, the Republican candidate, came out on top with 53 percent of the vote compared tot Ogg’s 47 percent.
Anderson has been serving as district attorney since she was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to fill the office after her husband, Mike Anderson, died after a brief battle with cancer.
In August a plan was proposed by Ogg which would keep people out of jail for possessing small amounts of marijuana and instead give them community service and a clean record. She stated that it would save the county millions of dollars and allow police officers to stay out on patrol rather than spend time taking people to jail for marijuana.
About a month later Anderson countered with her own plan, however it only covered first time offenders and each agency had the option of opting into her plan.
Critics, even from her own party, complained that someone arrested on one side of the street could be cited and released with no jail time, while anyone arrested on the other side would be taken to jail and subjected to the full force of the judicial system.
The Houston Chronicle reports one possible reason why Ogg lost in a close race.
Ogg, 55, had been praised by political pundits for running a solid campaign for more than a year, until last week when the campaign saw its biggest gaffe.
Ogg criticized the incumbent for a plea bargain that reduced the prison term of a woman later implicated in the death of a Harris County deputy.
After accepting a plea deal for three years behind bars and serving 10 months, Kelly Jo Ivey was charged last week with drug possession in connection with the wreck that killed Harris County Deputy Jesse Valdez.
Ogg’s criticism that the plea deal somehow caused the officer’s death led the only law enforcement agency that endorsed her, Officers of the Houston Metro Fraternal Order of Police, to rescind their support.