Yes, Susan Hawk Needs To Step Down. But Not Immediately.

My colleague Zac Crain, having heard the news that DA Susan Hawk has yet again checked herself into an in-patient treatment facility, called for her to resign immediately. Zac is a hot-blooded man of Czech extraction from the town of West, Texas. He can be forgiven his impetuousness. No, no, no. Hawk need not resign immediately.

She needs to do it before Friday, August 26.

Here’s what happens when she steps down: Governor Greg Abbott will appoint a good, strong Republican to take over as DA. Then, later, we hold an election, and the electorate gets to decide whether it prefers Abbott’s choice or the Democrat who will run against that person. How long would we have to wait for that election? Glad you asked.

The election code says the window is 74 days before the next general election. So if Hawk resigns on Thursday, August 25, Abbott could appoint someone that same day, and the next day the Dems could hold a meeting and pick someone to run against Abbott’s appointee in the November 8 election. But if Hawk waits till, oh, say, Monday, August 28, to resign, then we won’t be able to elect a district attorney until 2018.

I’ve never run for office, and I’m bad at maths. So check my work. But that’s where I think we stand.

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