EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)–The race for El Paso’s next District Attorney was a close one at the time the first unofficial results coming in around 7 p.m. Tuesday night.
Defense attorney Yvonne Rosales was leading with 51 percent of the votes while El Paso County Assistant District Attorney had 48 percent of votes out of 83 percent of precincts voting.
The candidate voters elect will be El Paso County’s first new District Attorney in nearly three decades.
Outgoing District Attorney Jaime Esparza went into office in 1993, serving the El Paso community for 28 years.
Montoya said if elected, he would change the way the DA’s office handles marijuana misdemeanors while Rosales said she wants to create a mental health unit and crack down on animal cruelty cases.
However, both candidates said they know all eyes will be on how they plan to take over handling the August 3 Walmart mass shooting case which also faces a federal court trial.
Rosales and Montoya said they plan to continue taking the case to trial but would need some time to sort out the details.
“I mean at some point somebody has to go first and I think that’s the big question who’s going to have their trial first, my position has always been that the State should go first, I think he belongs on Texas Death Row,” Montoya said.
“We all have to do what’s best for the community and until I’ve had the oppportunity to review medical reports and see how it could or could not affect asking or requesting the death penalty, I really can’t make that judgement right now,” Rosales said.
Montoya said about 5,000 voters sent in mail-in ballots so the official results depend on counting those as well.
For the full list of election runoff results, CLICK HERE.