DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The new Dallas County District Attorney was sworn in during a special ceremony on Monday morning. Faith Johnson is the first African American female to ever hold the office. She was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott last month to serve in the position.
Johnson was also previously the first African American female to become a district criminal judge in Texas, as well as the first African American female to attain the highly regarded status of Chief Felony Prosecutor during her time in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
Back in 2014, former Gov. Rick Perry appointed Johnson to the Department of Public Safety Commission, where she was one of five commissioners overseeing homeland security, border patrol and terrorism in Texas.
“Faith has proven herself a dedicated public servant,” Abbott stated. “As a former prosecutor, district judge, and while serving on the Department of Public Safety Commission, Faith has shown a commitment to law enforcement and the rule of law. She has devoted herself to defending some of our most vulnerable Texans, and I am confident that, in her new role as District Attorney, Faith will continue to fight for the people of Dallas County and ensure that justice is served.”
“I am truly humbled, honored and excited to serve as the District Attorney of Dallas County,” Johnson has said. “We are all in this together, and I look forward to beginning this journey with the entire Dallas County community.”
Johnson will hold the office for two years. She takes over for former district attorney Susan Hawk, who resigned in September after being treated for mental illness. Abbott selected Johnson from a pool of 11 candidates.
“I’m a servant leader, and I believe I have the leadership skills to be able to turn this around and make us proud of the office and of ourselves and this county,” said Johnson. She has already been meeting with her transition team — making plans and changes while acknowledging the challenges ahead.
“It is a tough job,” Johnson said with a laugh, “and I love tough.”
Reaction to Johnson’s appointment has been mostly positive.
“She is an accomplished black female Republican,” stated SMU political science professor Cal Jillson. “So, what the Governor was trying to do is find someone who would be a good DA in Dallas county, but who might have a chance of holding the seat for the Republicans two years from now.”
“Governor Abbott has made an exceptional choice with the appointment of Faith Johnson for Dallas County District Attorney. I would like to commend the Governor for his deliberate effort to bring forth the best candidate to serve the great people of Dallas County,” Rep. Pete Sessions said last month. “Throughout Faith’s career she has exhibited the utmost professionalism and a steadfast commitment to upholding our rule of law. I have no doubt that she will thrive in this new position and dedicate herself to protecting the rights of all citizens in our community.”
Sen. Don Huffines added, “I applaud the Governor’s appointment of Faith for Dallas County DA, and I wish her all the best as she takes on this new leadership role.”
“You can count on me,” Johnson said. “I will show up, I will work hard, I will do good by you. You will be pleased with what you see in this office.”