DALLAS – Bill Wirskye, a veteran prosecutor and the Second Assistant District Attorney in Collin County, said he is withdrawing his name from consideration to become the next Dallas County D.A.
“I care deeply about the Dallas D.A.’s office. I had to take a deep look at it because it really needs to be successful,” said Wirskye Sunday morning on WFAA’s Inside Texas Politics. “It needs to be competent. It needs to be filled with integrity. Just for personal reasons, I wasn’t the right guy to do it.”
Still vying for the job are former judges Jennifer Balido, Danny Clancy and Faith Johnson who plan to apply with Governor Greg Abbott, along with Messina Madson who was the First Assistant D.A. under Susan Hawk.
Hawk, the only countywide elected Republican, resigned last week about halfway through her elected term after taking several extended absences for mental health treatment. She said she left office to focus on improving her health.
As of Friday afternoon, the governor’s office said it had already received two applications.
“I think it’s clear. It will be a Republican. I don’t think Abbott would go outside the party. He’ll look for a talented minority Republican that he can uplift to an office. He’s very sensitive to what’s going on in Dallas. He wants to show there’s minority Republican leadership,” explained Bud Kennedy, columnist for the Star-Telegram, on Inside Texas Politics.
It’s up to Abbott’s appointments team to vet applicants. There is no timeline for the governor to appoint a replacement, though many expect a decision within four to six weeks.
“I think two things they’re going to look at – does the person understand the job? Can they run the office, the day-to-day and not make major mistakes? And then of course it’s a political job,” Wirskye said.
“So there’s a political aspect to it too. So I think the governor will look at who potentially can keep that seat in two years.”
FULL EPISODE: Inside Texas Politics (09/11/16)
Hawk’s election was the first time in a decade that a Republican won a countywide office.
“I believe the first order of business is to go in there and motivate the troops. For years they read about their boss – tabloid style headlines on the front pages. They’re a great team. They do a great job. They need to feel good about themselves again and the citizens need to know what a great job they’re doing,” added Wirskye.