After meeting with her staff yesterday (Tuesday, Sept. 6), District Attorney Susan Hawk released her resignation letter. In it, she lists accomplishments since she took office in January 2015. She concludes with a note to voters in Dallas County saying it was an honor to serve for 22 years as an intern, prosecutor, judge and D.A.
She does not address the timing of her resignation. Had she resigned by last week, the chair of each political party could name someone to be listed on the November ballot and voters would have selected a district attorney. By waiting until September, Gov. Greg Abbott chooses the replacement for the remainder of her term. Abbott has until the election to name a replacement. If he doesn’t, then the office remains open and voters again may choose from candidates nominated by the parties.
Abbott is expected to name a Republican. In a countywide election, a Democrat is likely to win. Hawk is the only Republican to win a countywide election in Dallas since 2004.
Click here for Hawk Letter
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins released the following statement on Hawk’s resignation:
“I hope Susan Hawk succeeds in her battle with health challenges and I believe she can. The timing of the resignation is very unfortunate for Dallas County voters because it is coming just days after the ballot submission deadline. Whenever possible, the voters — not the politicians — should decide who represents them in elected office. Had the District Attorney resigned a few days earlier, the Democratic and Republican precinct chairs could have each selected a candidate to represent their respective parties on the upcoming November 8 ballot. The Libertarian Party could have placed a candidate on the ballot as well and the Dallas County voters would then choose their new District Attorney. Because of the timing of the resignation, a political appointee chosen by Governor Abbott will fill the position for over two years.”