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DA Bland won’t seek re-election - Odessa American: Crime Justice

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DA Bland won’t seek re-election

County attorney plans run for office

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Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 5:26 pm

Bland’s term ends Dec. 31, 2020. The filing period for the office started Nov. 9 and ends Dec. 9, according to the Ector County Elections Administration Office. The primary is March 3 and early voting will run from Feb. 18 through Feb. 28.

The general election is Nov. 3, 2020. Ector County Republican Chair Tisha Crow said County Attorney Dusty Gallivan has filed to run for DA. He has been county attorney for five and a half years, having been appointed Aug. 1, 2014. He was an assistant district attorney previously.

“We’ve had success in our office, so I’m hoping we can mimic that success in the DA’s office,” Gallivan said Monday.

He said being a district attorney is a big responsibility and Bland has been a good DA so there are some “pretty big shoes to fill.”

Gallivan said he talked to his family and prayed about it and it was decided they were up to the challenge. Gallivan and his wife, Monica, have three children.

Although he’s worked in the DA’s office before, he said there will still be a learning curve.

Bland, 50, has been in office for nearly 14 years and said he plans to go into private practice. He said the decision not to run was extremely difficult.

“It was extremely difficult,” Bland said. “This is the only political job I’ve ever sought; the only job I’ve ever wanted. It’s been a tremendous honor to serve my home county as district attorney. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The people I’ve gotten to work with and the things we’ve gotten to do as a result of representing the State of Texas has been truly humbling and I will miss it. It was the right time for me and my family. This is a difficult job. I feel like I’ve done it for as long as I could. I didn’t feel like I could commit to another four years.”

Bland said he thinks it’s important to know whether you can commit to the four-year term.

“If you don’t have a desire to commit to that, then you need to step aside,” he added.

He said he considered a judgeship, but that wasn’t something he wanted to do.

“… To me, being district attorney the best elected job you can have, but it’s kind of run its course. I’m ready to do something else. Quite frankly, it will be nice to get out of the public eye for a while,” Bland said.

Bland and his wife, Heather, have three children, one of whom is attending Texas A&M University.  

He plans to go into private practice and hopes that it will enable him to gain more success.

“In the end, I had to make a decision on committing to another four years. I felt this was the right time to move forward with the rest of my life,” Bland said.  

Bland was appointed as Ector County DA by former Gov. Rick Perry in 2006 to complete the term of John Smith, who is now the 161st District Court judge.

When Smith was appointed judge, Bland said there were six other people vying for the job. Since then, Bland has been unopposed when running for DA.

Odessa, TX

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