AUSTIN—Telling gathered supporters it was time for real reform in the District Attorney’s Office, Charlie Baird formally filed for a place on the Democratic Primary ballot Monday afternoon at Travis County Democratic Party Headquarters.
Baird, a former Travis County district court judge and judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, said his campaign was about ideas and making the criminal justice system in Travis County a model for the rest of the state and the nation. Baird filed petitions with a total of 893 signatures of Travis County voters to qualify for the ballot.
“I am running for District Attorney because I believe we have a moral obligation to help people lead a good and productive life and that, if we do that, we are better as a society–we are better people. That’s what I want to do as your District Attorney. It’s time to take people that don’t need to be in the criminal justice system and get them help to break the cycle of criminality and support their children and families, and live the kind of life that we all want to live,” Baird said.
“People in our community are continually being ground up by the criminal justice system. It’s time to stop that and focus on rehabilitation and addressing the root causes of crime so we can have a safer and more productive society. This is where my passion is. This is where my heart is,” he continued.
“We know that we can do a better job with the criminal justice system in Travis County than we’re doing now. We are the most progressive county in Texas, and we should to be the model not just for our state but for the nation when it comes to how to treat people in the criminal justice system and still provide for public safety,” he continued.
A longtime progressive and jurist who has gained national attention for his work on such cases as that of the late Tim Cole, Baird is campaigning on issues including reforming the Felony Diversion Program, increasing rehabilitative opportunities, and operating the DA’s office 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.