In the race for chief prosecutor in Houston, Democratic challenger Kim Ogg ousted GOP incumbent Devon Anderson to take control of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, the Houston Chronicle reports. Although the campaigns sparred over policy – especially diversion programs for low-level drug offenses, the closing months focused on Anderson, who came under fire for missteps by prosecutors in her office. Ogg touted those issues in her victory speech. “This election is a mandate from the people,” Ogg said. “They want fairness. They want justice and they want safety.”
Of several big changes expected when Ogg takes office Jan. 1, the most significant is likely to be the end of jailing suspects in low-level, nonviolent drug cases. Ogg plans a “cite and release” program that would see police officers ticket offenders caught with small amounts of marijuana. She also has campaigned on increasing transparency in police shootings and wants to ramp up prosecutions of burglars and white-collar criminals, in a bid to combat cartels and human trafficking. The race’s most heated controversy was the revelation that prosecutors under Anderson had jailed a mentally ill rape victim for almost a month to make sure she would testify against her attacker.