BROWNSVILLE–There’a runoff for the Democrat nomination Cameron County District Attorney’s, while Republicans selected their candidate in the State’s Primary Election held Tuesday.
Chuck Mattingly, former chief prosecutor for the DA’s Office, who is now an assistant district attorney, beat defense attorney Gus Garza easily with 3,002 votes and 62 pecent of the vote.
“I just wanted to say that I am deeply humbled and truly thankful to everyone that made this possible, Mattingly said about his victory. “Thank you for your confidence, trust, encouragement, advice and most of all your vote! I will not let you down.
Mattingly overcome attacks about his involvement in the Amit Livingston case, one of the cases that led to a federal corruption indictment against District Attorney Armando Villalobos.Mattingly was the lead prosecutor on the case.
Livingston plead guilty to murder in 2007 and was allowed to report to state prison at a later, but never reported and is a fugitive.
Garza ran his campaign, saying justice was not for sale, but the voters didn’t buy his message.
The Democratic Primary was won by Carlos Masso with 8,072 vote, a prosecutor with the Willacy County District Attorney’s Office and Luis Saenz, the former district attorney, special prosecutor and magistrate judge came in second with 7,766 votes and Maria Urbina de Ford, a prosecutor for the Cameron County DA’s Office finished third with 6,672 votes.
Masso wasn’t able to get more than 50 percent so he’s in a runoff with Saenz.
Masso credited his campaign organization for the victory and believes his opponents ties to Villalobos helped him get the most votes in the primary.
“I believe they are signing on because they need a change and want to bring in integrity to the DA’s Office” said Masso. “Someone who is experienced and at the same time doesn’t bring in this baggage from before.”
Saenz was happy he made the runoff and said it will be different race with only two candidates.
“I feel very exicted about it” Saenz said. “In spite of being outspent 4 to 1and in spite of facing one of the most malicious and negative campaigns in Cameron County history we forced them into a runoff and we are ready for the runoff.”
The runoff election will be held on July 31st.