Here is video from a recent forum featuring the candidates from the District Attorney Race.
Candidates Jaime Esparza (Incumbent), Leonard Morales (Challenger) and Yvonne Rosales (Challenger) squared off at the Burges High School candidate forum.
The two challengers are hoping to pull the incumbent into a run-off election. The question is are they splitting the "anti-incumbent" vote or are they biting into Esparza's traditional support base.
The challengers have to cut into his support base in order to have hopes of forcing a run-off with the long-time incumbent.
So the challengers have focused their attacks on inefficiencies in the office and the results of several recent high-profile cases.
The incumbent has countered with relying on his record and touting his awards.
The difficulty for the challengers is that on several of the high-profile cases like the Marmalejo case - very few voters will have a recollection of the case. Here's what I mean. Most of you reading that name won't recall the case off the top of your head. Here's a refresher (not a pleasant one either so be forewarned)
Esparza had a tough time with the case and ultimately had to move it to San Antonio to get a guilty verdict.
The other case is the Villegas case, but its problematic for Morales because John Mimbela, the controversial figure who is bank rolling Mr. Villegas' defense, has contributed large amounts of money to the Morales campaign.
Rosales has a hard tim inspiring confidence in her a DA because she's very soft spoken, but she has made a strategic effort to improve her presentation so its unclear what, if any impact that will have with voters.
However, if either candidate is able to get enough votes to force a run-off, it would be a major development. Incumbents that end up in a run-off election lose almost all of the time in El Paso county. The only reason I say almost all the time instead of 100% of the time is because there are only so many election records available online and the rest are hard copies in storage and would require quite a bit of effort to obtain.
But the bottom line is that if Esparza ends up in a run-off he's likely to lose, which is the what the challengers are hoping for.