Kurt Glass

BELTON — Kurt Glass, a Belton defense attorney, announced Monday his intention to challenge four-term Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza in the March 2016 Republican primary election for district attorney.

“Crime is rampant in Bell County,” Glass said. “Something needs to be done to send a message that we’re not going to tolerate crime here. It’s easy to prosecute normal criminals. That doesn’t take courage. But it takes someone with character to prosecute someone in power. Bell County needs equal prosecution no matter what your name or position is.”

Garza turned in paperwork on July 14, according to the Bell County Clerk’s Office, and listed his campaign treasurer as Perry Cloud, a current Temple city councilman.

Garza was not available for comment Monday, but did say he “cannot sign up for another term until November 2015. The July 14 filing is not related to the next election. It is a filing required of all elected officials twice a year.”

Glass said more time needs to be devoted to issues affecting Bell County, such as gangs, protection of law enforcement officers and prosecution of crimes against children.

“A lot of Child Protective Services crimes are not picked up by the DA unless it’s a slam-dunk case,” he said. “Bell County residents need to know the county isn’t going to tolerate children being hurt.”

Glass’s said he will push for more accountability of elected officials.

Garza took office Jan. 1, 2001, and is president of the National District Attorneys Association. He also is on the board of directors for the Texas District Attorneys Association as the district attorney at-large.

According to the Bell County website, Garza received the following awards since being in office: the Killeen Independent School District Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012, the Public Sector Lawyer of the Year in 2008 by the Bell County Bar Association and the C. Chris Marshall Award in 2001 by the Texas District and County Attorneys Association.

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