119th District Attorney race

George McCrea has announced he will not run for re-election for 119th district attorney. Andrew Graves and John Best are vying for the position.

This is Best’s first time running for an elected position. He’s been an attorney since 1996. Before taking a position in San Angelo in the district attorney’s office in 2001, he worked for an agency in Austin doing legislative work. He then moved on to prosecuting cases in Williamson County for a short time before moving to San Angelo. He’s been working in the district attorney’s office for the last 14 years.

While working as first assistant to 51st D.A. Allison Palmer, Best has prosecuted dangerous violent offenders in the community. In 2015, Best prosecuted a defendant for continuous sexual abuse of a child and obtained a 28 year sentence. Best also prosecuted the Ethicon shooter and obtained a 40-year sentence and helped prosecute a case where a man received a life sentence for attempted capital murder.

“I am running for district attorney because I think most importantly I care about the safety of our community.” Best said. “I feel it’s a very important job and it should be managed by someone with the experience to do it. I care about the safety of our community and my family.” Best said there are a lot of important cases pending and he wants to continue to prosecute dangerous felons.

When he isn’t prosecuting felons, Best finds time to serve on various boards. He serves or has served on the boards of the Children’s Advocacy Center, Promises for Families Foundation (that helps children with parents who are incarcerated), the San Angelo Pachyderm Club, Concho Valley Law Enforcement Lions Club and as the president of the Tom Green County  Bar Association. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys ages 13 and 9.

Andrew Graves is a San Angelo native who comes from a family of educators. Graves said it would be fitting if he was elected as district attorney. His father was a superintendent in Winters in Runnels County, Tom Green County and Concho County, which are all of the counties the 119th District covers.

Graves graduated from Central High School and attended college at Texas Tech University. After college, he took a job in Tarrant County. In 2005, he and his family moved back to San Angelo and started his practice. He has experience in criminal defense, wills, estates, probates, family law and child protective  services cases. When he isn’t busy in the courtroom, Graves serves or has served on the boards of many civic organizations including Downtown San Angelo Inc., as president of the Tom Green County Bar Association, the San Angelo Performing Arts Center, the San Angelo Schools Foundation and others.

Graves is running because he wants to make sure people are held accountable for the crimes they commit.

“It is extremely important to have quality people in positions of leadership. Especially in the local elections because those positions are the positions that effect citizen’s daily lives. I believe I can bring a skill set to that position that it needs and requires.” He said.

If elected one of the things Graves wants to focus on is communication with law enforcement and citizens.