MAP: How did your neighborhood vote in Travis County’s district attorney primary?

Editor’s Note: The above video is KXAN’s Election Day coverage of the Travis County District Attorney’s race.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Almost 100,000 Travis County residents voted in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for district attorney. Incumbent José Garza fended off a challenge from Jeremy Sylestine.

Incumbent José Garza wins Democratic primary in Travis Co. District Attorney race

Garza won two-thirds of the vote, while Sylestine received one-third. Garza now advances to the November general election as the Democratic nominee. He’ll face Daniel Betts, who was the only candidate on the Republican primary ballot.

Of the 287 voting precincts in Travis County, at least one vote was cast in this race in all but one precinct. Of those, Garza received the most votes in 269 precincts, while Sylestine won in 17 precincts.

Garza’s strongest support was in central, eastern and southern parts of Austin. He performed best in Precinct 310, which includes part of West Campus bounded by W. 24th Street and W. MLK Jr. Boulevard to the north and south, and Rio Grande Street and N. Lamar Boulevard to the east and west. Garza won 93.4% of the 212 votes cast in that precinct.

He received more than 90% of the vote in three other precincts, all clustered around West Campus and the University of Texas.

Sylestine’s support was in western portions of the city of Austin. He performed best in Precinct 353, which includes the community of Barton Creek. Sylestine won 68% of the 434 votes cast in that precinct.

Garza, who took office in 2021, has campaigned on his office’s progressive reforms to the criminal justice system, pointing to programs aimed at gun violence prevention and diversion. He also reminded voters that his office has increased the number of sexual assault convictions, compared to the previous administration, and vowed to continue “holding police officers accountable” in cases of alleged use of force.

Sylestine, a defense attorney who previously worked as a prosecutor in the office, argued Garza has not prosecuted violent crime aggressively enough. He promised voters, if elected, he would take more cases to jury trials for the community’s input and rely less on plea deals. Plus, he wanted to implement strategies to clear a backlog of more than 6,000 pending felony cases.

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