Gay Republican group’s vice president is among those seeking office in Dallas County
A number of candidates met with Log Cabin Republicans on Tuesday evening, including two vying for the Republican nomination for Dallas County district attorney in the March 4 primary.
Susan Hawk, who is seeking the DA’s seat, has lived in Oak Lawn’s Perry Heights neighborhood since 1992. As a judge, she said she’s seen discrimination in her court, especially targeting trans people. She said she’s built relationships with counselors from AIDS Arms and Legacy Counseling and helped ensure inmates with HIV receive their medication and remain compliant.
She said she believes crimes committed against certain groups should be investigated as hate crimes and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“As district attorney, I’d make sure my prosecutors were sensitive to and had training in regards to the issues,” she said. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins recently announced his office is establishing an LGBT Task Force.
Tom Nowak, also running for DA, has experience as a child abuse and family violence prosecutor and as a defense attorney. His positions on LGBT issues are similar to
Hawk’s. He’d like to see the state hate crime law that calls for penalty enhancements rewritten because often those penalty enhancements don’t apply. First-degree misdemeanors can’t be upgraded to felonies and first-degree crimes can’t be upgraded to stricter penalties. He said as a prosecutor and a defense attorney, he has handled domestic abuse cases that have involved same-sex couples and believes everyone should be treated equally.
Former Dallas City Councilman Ron Natinsky is running for county judge. He’s unopposed in the primary and faces County Judge Clay Jenkins in the November election.
As a councilman, Natinsky received the endorsement of Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance and was DGLA’s choice for mayor against Mike Rawlings.
His race for county judge is his first partisan election.
“I’m running because people don’t realize the importance of county government and how it impacts people’s lives,” he said. “Parkland’s a big concern,” referring to the county’s hospital.
He called Parkland’s 2½-year search for a new CEO unacceptable. He also said other counties without public hospitals whose residents use Parkland should pay their fair share. Currently, no one from Denton or Collin counties would be turned away, but if the patient was unable to pay, Dallas County isn’t going after the delinquent suburban counties to share the burden of the costs. Instead, Dallas County taxpayers subsidize these nonresidents, which Natinsky called unfair.
Several judicial candidates attended the Log Cabin’s meeting, including Lisa DeWitt and Leah Lucius, who don’t have primary challengers.
Lucius, running for County Criminal Court No. 5, has seven years experience as a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office.
Lisa DeWitt, vice president of Log Cabin Dallas, is running for 265th Judicial District Court, an open seat.
She’s an officer of Log Cabin and said she’s often asked if it’s her son or daughter who’s gay.
“It’s not my son or daughter,” she said. “But it’s someone’s son or daughter. I’ve always thought it was so unfair that someone should be discriminated against over something you have no control over.”
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 21, 2014.