With 55% of the vote, early voting results show that Austin City Council Member Delia Garza is ahead of Assistant County Attorney Laurie Eiserloh in the Travis County attorney’s race.
“I’m hoping this lead continues. … If this turns out the way we hope it does, I’m really proud of Travis County,” Garza said during a virtual election night Zoom party.
The winner will oversee a department with two sections: a criminal division that handles misdemeanor cases and a civil division that represents elected county officials in litigation matters.
Election officials report 17,510 people voted in the Democratic Travis County attorney race by mail and 68,185 voted in person during the early voting window.
Earlier this year, Eiserloh and Garza defeated two other Democratic candidates — former Judge Mike Denton and defense attorney Dominic Selvera — in the primary election.
Eiserloh has practiced government law for 27 years, working for the Texas attorney general’s office, a local private firm, the city of Austin and the county attorney’s office. She has been a Travis County assistant county attorney since 2010 and works in the civil litigation division, focusing on labor law.
Garza was an Austin firefighter for six years before she got her law degree in 2010. She was a law clerk for the Texas Civil Rights Project in 2010 and was an assistant attorney general from 2011 to 2014 for the Texas attorney general’s office before she became an Austin City Council member.
Garza has made her campaign about criminal justice reform issues, such as ending cash bail and declining prosecution of low-level theft offenses.
“Our current system works fine if you have access to wealth or privilege,” she has said. “Our current system is full of racial disparities in our policing, in our convictions and in our jails.”
Eiserloh has also emphasized reform regarding issues such as mental health diversion programs as well as excessive arrests and detentions in her own campaign.
“I think in Travis County, we’ve got to get real about our lack of mental health diversion. … Right now, we’ve got no place to divert them to,” Eiserloh has said. “People with mental illness, they don’t need to be jailed. They need to be treated. That’s one thing we need to look at.”