Two vie for district attorney slot as longtime DA Randall Houston plans retirement

·3 min read

Two candidates are vying for the Republican nomination for the open district attorney slot for the 19th Judicial Circuit.

Long-time district attorney Randall Houston is retiring after more than 30 years with the office. The circuit covers Autauga, Elmore and Chilton counties.

Chief Assistant District Attorney C.J. Robinson has been with the office for 15 years, the past decade as the chief assistant. He will face Jennifer Holton, who did not return emails seeking comment for this story sent to an address provided on her Facebook campaign page.

CJ Robinson
CJ Robinson

Robinson is running as a way to continue serving the community.

More: Two seek GOP nomination for Autauga circuit judge post

"I want to help people," he said. "I want them to know that as they navigate the criminal justice system replaying the single worst day of their lives, they have an advocate and a voice. The district attorney stands in the courtroom as the last line of defense to hold the offenders accountable and says to the victim, 'I got you!'

"The DA is the voice for victims and the chief law enforcement officer within a judicial circuit. We need a strong, proven leader who can produce results and I have done that. Every decision I make on a case is to ultimately make Chilton, Autauga, and Elmore counties a safer place for my family to live."

His time in the office makes him qualified, he says.

"I am a career prosecutor," Robinson said. "have served in the DA’s office for 15 years. The last 10 years, as the chief deputy district attorney I’ve overseen the capital murders and other high-profile cases."

Among other achievements, Robinson touts being named the Alabama District Attorneys Association Assistant DA of the Year in 2015, graduating from the full-time police academy in 2017, and being named VOCAL's 2020 top advocate for victims in Alabama.

"I have also worked to pass seven pieces of legislation that have protected victims, empowered law enforcement, and provided harsher punishments for violent offenders," he said.

District Attorney Randall Houston of the 19th Circuit Court, shown here in 2017, is retiring from his role.
District Attorney Randall Houston of the 19th Circuit Court, shown here in 2017, is retiring from his role.

If elected, Robinson said he would work to improve efficiency in the court system.

"As the chief, I have seen how all nine divisions of our office work and saved thousands of dollars by transitioning to a paperless system," he said. "We can continue implementing technology and develop that system to connect all law enforcement agencies and city courts in our circuit so that we are sharing information about habitual offenders in a “task-force” like model.

"Currently, if someone is on bond for a crime in Elmore County and then commits a crime in the city of Prattville, information is limited. The DA’s Office is uniquely situated to close that gap and assist in revoking the bonds of repeat offenders at the state and city court levels."

C.J. Robinson

  • Age: 38

  • Party: Republican

  • Professional: Chief assistant attorney for the 19th Judicial Circuit

  • Political experience: This is his first campaign

  • Education: Bachelors degree in political science from the University of Montevallo; law degree from Mississippi College of Law

Jennifer Holton

  • Age: 47

  • Party: Republican

  • Professional: Defense attorney

  • Education: Bachelors degree in business and marketing from Auburn University; MBA from Troy University; law degree from Jones School of Law

Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Marty Roney at mroney@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Two vie for DA in circuit covering Autauga, Elmore, Chilton counties