Karen Alley has been elected by Hill County Democrats to be the top attorney and take over an office filled with problems.
On Tuesday, Alley — a Townsend native — beat Hill County native and attorney Randy Randolph 1,115 to 776 votes to win the Democratic primary race for Hill County Attorney. Because there is no Republican challenger to face in November, Alley is scheduled to assume the role her boss has now starting next year.
She had a good feeling about the election, she said Wednesday during a short break between court sessions. But ultimately, there is no way to know until all the votes are counted, she added. She received 59 percent of the votes.
Face-to-face interaction with voters is what did it, she said she believed.
“I spent several weeks going door to door and talking to people,” she said. For about five weeks, she had conversations with people.
Those talks gave way to people’s concerns, she said, mainly about a current county attorney office that’s is not doing a good job of responding.
In op-eds to The Herald, Randolph and Alley both spoke of the problems in the county attorney office. Randolph says attorneys are having a difficult time getting ahold of current County Attorney Jessica Cole-Hodgkinson to “deal with any pending legal matters.” Alley says the office needs to ensure “it is accessible and responsive to victims.”
“Beyond needing a fully staffed office, the office needs a leader who is present in the office on a regular basis and willing to put in the time and effort necessary to ensure the office runs smoothly and that cases are handled expeditiously. The job of Hill County Attorney is not a 40-hour a week job. It takes much more time than that to ensure the job is done thoroughly,” she writes.
And with two vacant deputy attorney slots and a caseload going back years, Alley said she knows she’s got her work cut out for her.