The race for Dallas County District Attorney could be a matchup of a black Democratic candidate against the incumbent black Republican – a historic election battle.
John Creuzot has served as prosecutor, judge and defense attorney and announced Tuesday he wants to be the next Dallas County DA.
Creuzot said he should win because of the vision he has for criminal justice reform in Dallas County and the direction he wants the DA's office to go.
“Integrity, leadership, change, bring it on,” Creuzot said.
If Creuzot wins the Democratic primary one year from now, he would face incumbent Republican and African American woman Faith Johnson. She was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to finish Susan Hawk's term and has already indicated she will run for a full term.
“Let me say this about Faith Johnson -- she's my friend. I love her, I respect her and my race for district attorney doesn't have anything to do with Faith Johnson,” Creuzot said. “It’s about my vision for the future and my respect for this community.”
SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson sees the contest more than Democrat versus Republican.
“The question is can a black Republican pull a significant share of the black vote in South Dallas against a black Democrat,” Jillson said.
Public relations specialist and political adviser Ken Carter said both have hard work ahead.
“He has to reintroduce who he is and what he was,” Carter said. “With Faith, the challenge is she has to run for reelection while putting a footprint on the DA's office.”
Politicians, advocates and exonerees are a part of the coalition behind Creuzot and were at Tuesday’s announcement.
“Dallas County could not be any better served than having John Cruezot as our district attorney,” said former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk.
Cruezot's announcement serves notice on judges Liz Frizell and Tammy Kemp - both reportedly thinking about a run.