AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s been more than two decades since a Democrat won the Texas attorney general’s job. Democratic voters will go to the polls for the second round of the primary election to choose a candidate who they hope can end this streak. The runoff race pits former ACLU attorney Rochelle Garza against Joe Jaworski, a former mayor of Galveston.
Jaworski said his three decades of experience as a trial lawyer make him the most qualified candidate. He said he wants to refocus the office on consumer protection, working in particular to hold private health insurers to account.
Garza, a Brownsville native, comes off as someone who “deeply understands” working families in Texas and the issues that concern them, especially when it comes to grievances Texans have with the healthcare system.
See election results in this race below as of 7 p.m.
Garza pointed to a case she won in the United States Supreme Court as proof that she can be successful in major legal battles. In Azar v. Garza, she represented an undocumented immigrant teenager detained in the United States who was denied access to an abortion.
“I’m the only one who’s been able to strengthen reproductive rights,” Garza said. “With Roe [Roe v. Wade] at risk this summer, we’re going to need someone like that. We’re going to need someone like me, a champion who knows how to fight these cases…knows how to make sure we’re protecting civil rights.
Her High Court case resulted in the ‘Garza notification’, a requirement that teenage girls in police custody must be informed of their right to access an abortion.
“I think we’re all pretty much on the same page when it comes to the major ticket items that appear nightly on cable. But my specific request to Democratic voters is to restore the Texas attorney general’s office to that of a consumer protection law firm,” Jaworski said.
“If the Democrats want to win in November, I would respectfully suggest that they endorse Joe Jaworski, a lawyer who will not only get all Democrats out the ballot, as Ms. Garza may be able to tell, but also moderate and independent Republicans,” added Jaworsky.
Garza said her vote tally makes her confident the Texans will pick her in May.
“We got over 400,000 votes, more than double the next two opponents. The people of Texas are saying something. They say they are ready to be represented; they’re ready for a woman to fill that position, a Latina,” Garza said.