Incumbent Kim Ogg (D) and Sean Teare (D) are running in the Democratic primary for Harris County District Attorney in Texas on March 5, 2024.
Ogg was first elected in 2016. Ogg’s focus was on prosecuting violent offenders, offering diversion programs as an alternative to jail time, and making less use of cash bail. Ogg is running on her record: “Our case backlog is down 21%, violent criminals are being prosecuted successfully, and we’re addressing critical issues like human trafficking and mental illness.”
Teare is running because he says Ogg has not fulfilled her campaign promises. Teare says prosecutors’ morale is low because Ogg has focused on building her political influence over implementing her policy platform: “The promises that we were all led to believe in 2016 were not being followed through.”
The Harris County Democratic Party voted to admonish Ogg on December 13, 2023. The resolution accused Ogg of supporting Republican firearms and sentencing laws, intimidating elected officials with whom she disagreed, and not reducing the use of cash bail as she had promised. Ogg says the county party admonished her because she is investigating three of County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s (D) former staffers.
The winner will advance to the general election against Dan Simons (R). According to Rice University professor Bob Stein, county Republicans see an opportunity to win back the district attorney’s office: “The cleavage, the fissure, the infighting in the Democratic Party to oust Kim Ogg, I think, has attracted some candidates to run countywide.” Ogg won the 2016 and 2020 elections 54%-46%. Ogg was the first Democrat to win election as Harris County District Attorney since 1980.