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District attorney race heads into runoff election

The race for El Paso County district attorney isn't over yet. After failing to clinch the 50 percent of votes needed to win the race on Super Tuesday, long-time DA Jaime Esparza is headed to a runoff election with political newcomer Yvonne Rosales.

Esparza had two primary challengers with Rosales and Lenny Morales. There were no Republican challengers this time around.

Unofficial election results show Esparza earned 49.76 percent of the vote with 24,396 ballots cast in his favor. Rosales earned 28.85 percent of the vote with 14,144 ballots cast in his favor. Morales earned 21.39 percent with 10,487 ballots cast in his favor.

Now, Esparza and his closest contender will turn to the voters one more time for a decision. The runoff election is scheduled for May 24 with early voting beginning on May 16.

Rosales spent years working under Esparza after accepting her first job out of law school serving as a prosecutor in his office. She went on to co-found her own law practice in El Paso called Al-Hanna and Rosales Law Firm, specializing in criminal and family law.

On the campaign trail, Rosales ran on a platform of cracking down on repeat DWI offenders, minimizing case backlog in the courts, improving the conviction rate of suspects the DA takes to trial and easing up on first time offenders for non-violent crimes like petty theft and possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Meanwhile, Esparza said he wants to continue to work with the veterans' courts, crack down on domestic violence cases, continue working on DWI cases in the county and build on previous successes.

The 34th District covers El Paso, Hudspeth and Culberson counties.

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