D.A.'s Race Heating Up With Candidate's New Campaign Ad - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/15/06

D.A.'s Race Heating Up With Candidate's New Campaign Ad

Two Republicans want to be the Lubbock County District Attorney, but only one can win the party's nomination. With the primary election only 20 days away, the race between incumbent Matt Powell and opponent Tommy Turner is getting intense. NewsChannel 11's Kealey McIntire talked to both candidates and has brings us an in-depth look at their campaign.

Many times during these campaigns you may see a political ad and wonder is there any truth to that accusation. Both Tommy Turner and Matt Powell have ads currently running on television and we asked them what's true and what's not.

District Attorney candidate and current Lubbock defense attorney Tommy Turner said the race isn't getting heated, but he did say it's like a football game gaining momentum.

"Both sides start out with a game plan and it's three downs and punt, three downs and punt. Okay, that's not working so you tweak your offense a little bit," said Turner.

Turner is tweaking his offense with a new TV ad that hit airwaves Wednesday. It claims Lubbock ranks near the top for abused and neglected children. Turner attributes that to increased methamphetamine usage and manufacturing, something he says the DA should focus on.

"One thing I will do when I'm District Attorney is put together a task force of prosecutors and use some visiting judges and target meth manufacturers," said Turner.

His new ad also says Lubbock has the fourth highest crime rate in the state. Turner said that's because the current DA's office tries cases only 50 percent of the time. He wants to see that number increase. "And I think that's achievable," stated Turner.

Incumbent Matt Powell's ad states he's never lost a felony jury trial, including 34 murder cases. He's spent his entire professional career as a prosecutor, unlike his opponent.

Powell said it's not about numbers. "If you start worrying about the number of convictions you have and the number of cases you're moving and disposing of, things like that, then justice can get sacrificed a lot," he said.

Powell said records indicate his office has actually tried more cases than even larger counties. Records also show various crime rates in Lubbock have decreased.

One of Powell's campaign points is experience, he said 27 out of 31 lawyers in his office have more prosecution experience than his opponent.

"I truly feel the calling to do the job," said Powell. "It's about the guy who can go into the courtroom on day one and look a murderer in the face and say you're gone. And that's me. Period."

Turner said if elected he wants to turn cases faster. Powell said if he continues as DA he's going to keep focusing on hiring attorneys who genuinely want to be prosecutors for the span of their career.

The primary election is March 7th.

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