Dawnna Dukes says constituents urged her not to resign


Around midnight, hours before the Legislature convenes for its biennial session Tuesday, embattled state Rep. Dawnna Dukes laid out in a Facebook post the reasons she decided at the last minute to renege on her plan to step down, saying constituents, former lawmakers and her doctor all urged her to continue serving.

“Look, I listened very closely to what my constituents were saying to me. The huge amount of support has been breathtakingly humbling. For many months, supporters have weighed upon me how much they wished for me to not resign,” wrote Dukes, an Austin Democrat. “Election night they kept saying ‘Dawnna, you won with 70%’ even though you did not run a campaign. It’s that enough to change your decision.’ I listened closely to the argument that the District overwhelmingly reelected me to represent them. Constituents showed to my home, sent text and social media messages.”

If Dukes is sworn in for a 12th term on Tuesday, she will do so within hours of new District Attorney Margaret Moore being briefed by Texas Rangers on the criminal case against Dukes, who is accused of misusing her legislative staff and campaign money.

Dukes announced in September that she will step down at the conclusion of her 11th term, citing medical reasons. It was too late for Democrats to replace her on the ballot and she won her deep-blue district with 70 percent of the vote in the Nov. 8 election.

The Rangers initially presented their criminal investigation of Dukes to prosecutors when Rosemary Lehmberg was district attorney. Prosecutors negotiated with attorneys for Dukes, but the case was not concluded before Moore took office this year after winning election in November.

Moore said on Saturday that she will decide whether to seek a grand jury indictment against Dukes on corruption charges following her briefing with the Rangers.



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