Susan Hawk’s resignation as Dallas County District Attorney means Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will appoint her successor, reports the Dallas Morning News. Abbott probably will choose a Republican like himself and Hawk. Hawk’s top assistant, Messina Madson, is now running the DA’s office, as she did during the long absences that marked Hawk’s tenure. Hawk was gone for months as she sought treatment for depression and a mood disorder.
Whoever gets the job will likely be expected to run as the GOP nominee for a full term in November 2018. That person will face a difficult battle at the polls in a blue county. Hawk, the first female DA in Dallas County, was the first Republican to win a countywide office in a decade. Many Democrats left the party to vote for her rather than embattled Democrat Craig Watkins. Democrats complained about the timing of Hawk’s resignation. Had she quit by Aug. 26, voters would have decided the next DA in November instead of in more than two years.