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D.A.’s last term
by Gary Kent
Sep 14, 2011 | 3851 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Martha Warner
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BEEVILLE – State Rep. José Aliseda has announced that he will not be seeking re-election to House District 35 when his term ends in December 2012.

The one-term representative said he will, instead, run for the position of district attorney for the 156th Judicial District, serving Bee, Live Oak and McMullen counties.

The district attorney’s position currently is held by Martha Warner.

Warner said this week that she will be stepping down at the end of her term in December 2012 for health reasons.

Warner will be completing her second four-year term as district attorney.

She started her career as a prosecutor in January 1997, when she went to work as an assistant for District Attorney George P. “Jeeper” Morrill.

She started as a part-time prosecutor but quickly realized the job required a full-time commitment. Warner changed her status the next month.

“It was an honor to serve the citizens of House District 35 in Austin,” Aliseda said. “I intend to continue serving them for the remainder of my term. I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to serve in the Legislature and will always cherish my time there. I believe I made an impact this last legislative session on important issues such as voter ID, mail-in ballot fraud and a balanced budget without raising taxes.”

“The possibility of serving as district attorney for my home and neighboring counties will allow me to use my experience in criminal justice to continue to serve the public and be closer to my family and ranch,” Aliseda said.

Warner said she plans to readily discuss her health problem. She was diagnosed with lupus recently and told to reduce the stress in her life to better deal with the disease.

“I want everybody to know what lupus is,” Warner said. When told she had to do something less stressful, Warner said she knew she would have to give up her position.

“It’s nothing but stress,” she said of the job.

“So I started looking for someone to replace me,” Warner said. Although she had a number of possible candidates in mind, she thought of Aliseda because he had served as county attorney, county judge and as a member of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

“So I grabbed him one day and gave him the rush and asked, ‘So what do you say?’”

Warner said she was relieved when Aliseda said he would run for the position.

The prosecutor said she will continue to practice law. “I don’t know what I’ll do, but I’ll find something.”

Warner said she worked in the oil and gas business before taking the job as an assistant prosecutor. She may go back to practicing in that field.

“It’s been awesome,” Warner said of her experience as district attorney. “I’ve met so many people. The people, the victims, I can’t tell you how much they’ve touched me,” Warner said. “There are a lot of really brave people out there who nobody knows about.”

“I’ve really been blessed. God’s given me an opportunity to help the people here.”

Warner said she will support Aliseda’s campaign and will work with him after she leaves office to see that he is able to do the best possible job for the district.

Warner and her husband, city attorney and real estate title lawyer Frank Warner Sr., have practiced in Beeville for the past 30 years.

They have three children, Dr. Jennifer Dharamsi, Jody Warner, who is a prosecutor in Dallas, and Frank Warner Jr., who is a student at Blinn College.

Aliseda served as a criminal lawyer with the Judge Advocate General’s unit of the U.S. Navy for five years. He served eight years as Bee County attorney, during which he earned a reputation for fighting voter fraud cases and political corruption.

He served one term as county judge here before being appointed to a term with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles by Gov. Rick Perry.

During this last legislative session, Aliseda was appointed to the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee by House Speaker Joe Straus, and he was named “Freshman of the Year” by the Texas District and County Attorneys Association for his outstanding service on criminal justice matters while serving in Austin last year.

Aliseda was also named “House Republican Caucus Freshman of the Year by the 101-member Republican Caucus, and he recently received the “Tax Payer Advocate Award” from the conservative Empower Texans group.

“My experiences as a former prosecutor, judge, Parole Board member and serving on the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee will help me serve as an effective district attorney for Bee, Live Oak and McMullen counties,” Aliseda said.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.
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