Tag Archives: Rockwall County District Attorney Race

No Democrat to challenge Republican for Rockwall DA post this November

The chairman of the Rockwall County Democratic Party said today that the deadline has now passed and there will be no Democratic candidate for the Rockwall County District Attorney post this November.

This means that Republican Party candidate Kenda Culpepper, a defense attorney and former Dallas County prosecutor, will run unopposed and win the election to fill the two years remaining of former DA Ray Sumrow’s term, barring something unforeseen.

Sumrow resigned in June after being convicted of theft by a public servant. He is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence.

According to Chairman Dr. Stephen Taylor two attorneys who are Democrats had expressed interest in running but decided against doing so after reviewing the possibilities in GOP-dominated Rockwall County. Every other elected position in the County is also currently held by a Republican.

Dr. Tayor said that, while still low, Democratic Party membership in Rockwall has increased considerably since the primary election campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton generated so much interest, and he’s confident that Democrats will produce a highly-qualified candidate in two years.

GOP candidate Culpepper said she was relieved to hear that she could run uncontested because it would certainly be easier and a lot less expensive. She said she remained hopeful that Republican Gov. Rick Perry would soon appoint her on an interim basis until the election.

First Assistant DA Craig Stoddart has been running the office during the interim but has not been interested in campaigning for the actual DA position.

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Kenda Culpepper named as GOP nominee for Rockwall DA post

(click on photo to enlarge)

Rockwall/Dallas criminal defense lawyer Kenda Culpepper (pictured above), a former felony and misdemeanor prosecutor for the Dallas County DA’s office, was named last night as the Rockwall County Republican Party’s nominee for the now vacant Rockwall County District Attorney position.

Rockwall Co. voters must elect a new DA this November. The post became vacant last month after former long-time DA Ray Sumrow resigned from jail, after being convicted of theft by a public servant.

Culpepper is currently a partner in the criminal defense and family law firm Culpepper & Pruitt, which she and her husband Jim Pruitt, a former Dallas Co. criminal court judge, created in 2003.

She was named by the Rockwall Co. GOP’s Executive Committee, after reviewing the names of four attorneys who had expressed interest in the position.

Culpepper is a 1989 graduate of Texas A&M and 1992 graduate of SMU Law School. After graduating she worked for the Dallas Co. DA’s office for three years, where she acquired extensive courtroom experience and achieved a high conviction rate, prosecuting everything from misdemeanor thefts to DWI to aggravated murder and robbery cases.

Since that time, she has practiced almost exclusively Criminal Defense Trial Law. She became Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Specialization in 1999.

Culpepper says she will begin organizing her campaign immediately, since she has only four short months to do so. To read her biography, see her website at: http://www.rockwalllawyer.com/bio.html#culpepper

No Democrat Party nominee has yet been named by Rockwall Co. Democrats.

County DA election may be very hotly-contested

Now that former County DA Ray Sumrow has resigned due to his convictions for theft and because he is in jail, beginning his 15 year prison sentence which will be appealed, the campaign to elect a new DA this November may be the most hotly-contested local race in years.

Already, rumor has it, several Democrats and Republicans are laying the groundwork for Fall campaigns. Anybody knows who planning to run?

Although Republicans currently hold every elected  County position,  County Democratic Party Chairman Dr. Stephen  Taylor says that the national momentum energized by the Obama/Clinton campaigns could easily generate enough support locally for a Democrat to be elected.

“We had a very successful primary, a very successful county convention and a very successful state convention. And the emotions at all of those were very intense,” Dr. Taylor said. “This is a real force that’s swelling up and growing, and it’s going to change the politics of Rockwall County.”

I certainly did notice the hundreds of Democrats at my voting precinct who attended their caucus meetings after they voted in the Texas primary election. The turnout was amazing!

Until that election, or unless Gov. Rick Perry decides to appoint someone else until the election, first Assistant DA Craig Stoddart holds the position after taking over in March.  Rumor has it that Craig is not interested in campaigning and is happy to continue as an assistant DA.

Stay tuned for more rumors…and facts.