Republican Governor Appoints 'Hard Democrat' as DA: 'A Slap in the Face'


After a progressive Democrat resigned from his role in Texas, then it fell to the Republican governor to appoint his replacement last week.

Which Gov. Greg Abbott did — with a defense lawyer with a “hard Democrat” voting record, according to “pro-liberty” outlet Texas Scorecard.

At least one local Republican leader called the appointment, announced Friday, “a slap in the face” of members of Abbott’s own party.

“Governor Greg Abbott has appointed James ‘Jimmy’ Granberry as the District Attorney of the 105th Judicial District in Nueces County for a term set to expire on December 31, 2024 or until his successor shall be duly elected and qualified,” the governor’s office announced under the headline “Governor Abbott Appoints Granberry As 105th Judicial District Attorney.”

“James ‘Jimmy’ Granberry of Corpus Christi is an attorney in private practice and previously served as an assistant district attorney and felony prosecutor for the 105th Judicial District Attorney’s Office from 1990-1994,” the governor’s statement read. “He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and a former member of its district grievance committee, member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and founding president of Coastal Bend Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Additionally, he is a former member of the Texas District & County Attorneys Association and the Corpus Christi Bar Association and former director of the Texas DWI Lawyers Association. Granberry received a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity University and a Juris Doctor from Texas Tech University School of Law.”

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Texas Scorecard included an image that appeared to be some sort of “voting history” scorecard, but without citing its origins or the methodology used to determine Granberry’s “calculated party.”

Granberry was listed as a “Hard Democrat” on that scorecard, but without any context to indicate what the other rating options were.

The vacancy was created when Democrat Mark Gonzalez resigned on September 5, a few months before he was scheduled to go to trial for “incompetency, official misconduct and failure to give bond,” according to KRIS-TV.

His first assistant district attorney, Angelica Hernandez, resigned two weeks later amid accusations of incompetence and gross negligence in regard to her conduct of a murder trial, according to Texas Scorecard.

Are you surprised Abbott made this decision?

Nueces County Republican Party Chair Carmen Calderone Jr. told the outlet that Gonzalez left the DA’s office in “shambles,” and local Republicans expressed doubt that Granberry would be any better.

Gonzalez has filed to run in the Democratic primary in a long-shot bid to face incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz in 2024 for his seat in the U.S. Senate.

Gonzalez’s campaign treasurer was John Gilmore, who was also Granberry’s law partner, Texas Scorecard reported.

Abbott overlooked a Republican candidate that Texas Scorecard called “well-qualified,” without explaining that categorization, in choosing Granberry to replace Gonzalez.

“Last month, Nueces County Republican Party precinct chairs interviewed four of the candidates under consideration,” the outlet reported. “Sales was the overwhelming favorite, receiving votes from 30 of the 35 precinct chairs present.”

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Sales said that “The job is to prosecute the law on the books,” but that Gonzalez had run the DA’s office based on “his opinion, not the law,” according to Texas Scorecard.

“Everyone here takes it as a slap in the face to the Republican Party,” Suzanne Guggenheim, head of the Coastal Bend Republican Coalition, told the outlet.

“Republicans need to stop appointing Democrats to positions of power,” added Texas GOP Chairman Matt Rinaldi, who called Granberry’s appointment “terrible.”

Granberry has reportedly already announced that he will run for election in 2024 as the incumbent to remain Nueces County DA. His position in the role give him an advantage in that election, Texas Scorecard pointed out.

Abbott’s office did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s request for comment.

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
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