Galveston County Republican voters Tuesday re-elected two-term District Attorney Jack Roady over firebrand Tom Dickens, who tried to unseat the incumbent with a lengthy campaign based on criticism and fury.
Roady defeated Dickens, a retired civil attorney and police officer, with 14,533 votes to Dickens’ 7,999 votes, according to complete but unofficial returns.
“I am so very proud of the men and women at the office that helped create such a good record to be able to run on,” Roady said.
Dickens announced his presence in the race by criticizing Roady and the current office for not being tough enough on crime and focusing too much on statistics.
Roady said Tuesday he made the decision early on to run a positive campaign and that he thought voters responded positively.
“I think people like positive and informative races,” Roady said. “We did our best to try to get the information out so that voters could make informed decisions. That’s what we tried to focus on.”
During the campaign, Roady pointed to being named the Prosecutor of the Year by the State Bar of Texas in 2016 as a sign of his reputation and said prosecutors in Galveston have about an 89 percent conviction rate on felony cases.
Dickens ran a mostly self-financed campaign relying a great deal on messaging through posts on his Facebook page.
The posts were long and often focused on specific trials or cases in which Dickens asserts Roady failed to deliver justice.
Some of Dickens’ more incendiary claims drew the ire of assistant district attorneys and other county groups.
The League City Police Officers Association in a recent Facebook post, for instance, accused Dickens of lying when he accused Roady of paying the group for its endorsement.
“It certainly appears that Mr. Dickens is purposefully lying to the citizens of Galveston County, further demonstrating that he lacks the integrity or leadership to run an office as important as the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office,” the post said.
Dickens took a wide range of positions on criminal justice, sometimes at seemingly contradictory angles. He criticized the district attorney’s role in the overcrowded county jail, which he said was caused by high bond amounts, but didn’t commit to suggesting lower bond amounts if he were elected.
Dickens declined to comment Tuesday about the election results, except to congratulate his opponent on the victory.
Roady is a Santa Fe resident who unseated Democrat Kurt Sistrunk in 2010 as part of a wave of Republican wins in county politics. Before coming to Galveston County, he was an assistant district attorney in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Roady will probably be the next Galveston County Criminal District Attorney because no Democrats are running for the position.
The district attorney serves a four-year term. In the last fiscal year, the district attorney earned $161,640.
“I’m proud of the office and the people I work with,” Roady said. “I’m grateful to have served the people of Galveston County and I’m happy to get another four years to do so.”