Transcribed by Rudy Arispe
Nico LaHood never wanted to be a district attorney; his career ambitions lie elsewhere.
“I always wanted to be a lawyer because my pop is a lawyer. He’s my hero, and I still look up to him,” he said. “My pop taught me that a lawyer is a legal bodyguard, who speaks for people who can’t speak for themselves, or who can’t defend themselves.”
However, LaHood would agree that God had other plans for him. In November 2014, LaHood defeated 16-year incumbent Susan Reed and took the oath of office in January 2015. Now, realizing that much work still lies ahead within the Bexar County justice system, LaHood recently announced he is running for re-election as Bexar County district attorney.
“I’m going to take the opportunity of the responsibility I’ve been entrusted with to protect the community,” LaHood said, “and to always speak my mind, but to be humble about it but also be courageous and fearless.”
He also wants to clarify what he means when he says he never intended to be district attorney. “I never wanted to get into politics,” LaHood said. “What I mean by that is I don’t like partisanship. When you look at the root word of politics, it means to advocate for something. So we’re all politicians. Because we’re all advocating for something. But when we get into partisanship where we choose a party over people over principles or especially over purpose, then I think it becomes a problem.”
One of the greatest accomplishments attained since being elected to office, LaHood notes, is the culture has changed. “There is a true spirit of justice in the office,” he said. A staunch child advocate, the DA added that it “drives me insane to see a child who is abused or neglected, which makes them feel unloved. It messes with their identity or lack thereof, and their behavior is a reflection of what they believe of their own lives and their future and the world they live in.”
The thought of one day being elected as Bexar County district attorney never entered his mind while in private practice as a lawyer – or even in his youth. The steps of the downtown Bexar County Courthouse seemed far in the distance from the South Side where LaHood grew up.
“My father grew up on the West Side on Morales Street near the old Robert B. Green Hospital, and my mom went to school at Harlandale,” he recalled. “My older brother and I spent a lot of time on the South Side with my grandmother, who lived right down the street from St. Leo’s Catholic Church.”
LaHood graduated from Central Catholic High School and then enrolled at San Antonio College and later St. Mary’s University to pursue a law degree. However, it was a period between junior college and St. Mary’s University that LaHood got distracted from his goal and had to overcome tremendous challenges.
“Some were self-inflicted and others I didn’t choose and happened to me,” he said, “but through the grace of God and me focusing on living my life a different way, I got there (and became a lawyer).”
He credits his wife, Davida, for helping him stay grounded and true to his religious faith as they raise their four children. “She is an amazing woman,” LaHood said. “She has been part of my journey in finding peace after dealing with my brother’s murder and the struggles I went through for years in dealing with the anger associated with his murder.”
Although LaHood said four years isn’t enough time to make an impact within the community as to why he is running for re-election, there appears to be another reason.
“My oldest daughter, Maya, said, ‘Papi, I don’t know if I want you to win.’ I asked, ‘Why? She said because you’re not here a lot.’ Then she said, ‘But I kind of want you to win because you help people.’ ”
And helping people is exactly why he became a lawyer – just like his dad.
But he also points out, “My identity is I’m a child of God first, a husband and a daddy, and I happen to be the DA.”
For more information, visit www.NicoforDA.com