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Two veteran prosecutors compete to be the next Midland County District Attorney

Mitch Borden
Marfa Public Radio
Midland County Court House.

Two attorneys are competing to be Midland County’s next district attorney, a race that will be decided in the March 5 Republican primary with no Democrat candidate in the running.

Glenn Harwood and Kyle McCardle are seeking to become the county’s next top prosecutor after current District Attorney Laura Nodolf announced she would not run for reelection. Nodolf had a controversial tenure as DA which has cast a shadow over this election.

Former federal prosecutor Glenn Harwood told Marfa Public Radio that he chose to run because of the problems he’s seen firsthand.

“I had known for years that there were problems at the district attorney’s office,” he said. “That the DA’s office needed a change in leadership and a change in culture.”

McCardle, who is currently an assistant district attorney with the county, points to his experience in the DA's office as the reason voters should cast their vote for him.

Glenn Harwood standing his wife, Kimberly.
Photo courtesy of Glenn Harwood
Glenn Harwood standing his wife, Kimberly.

“I’ve tried everything that comes through this office from traffic tickets through murders and everything in between,” McCardle said. “I know what’s working in the office and I know what’s not working in the office and I want the chance to fix what’s not working as the district attorney.”

Priorities for McCardle include improving communication with Midland residents as well as being more proactive about violent crime, which he says is on the rise.

The past incidents hanging over the election include the killing of a Midland Police Officer and the high-profile arrests of educators at two private schools in Midland.

In 2019, Midland Police Officer Nathan Heidelburg responded to a security alarm at the home of David Wilson. As Officer Heidelburg approached the front door, he was shot by Wilson and would later die as a result.

This shooting would lead DA Nodolf to pursue murder charges against Wilson, but a jury found Wilson not guilty in 2021. Allegations of misconduct were later brought against Nodolf concerning the investigation into the shooting.

There was an attempt to remove Nodolf as DA, which was dismissed by a judge.

In February of 2022, police arrested five administrators at Midland Christian School for allegedly not reporting a suspected sexual assault of a student. A few weeks later, four administrators at Trinity School of Midland were also arrested on similar charges for a separate incident.

The arrests sparked heated emotions on all sides, especially after a grand jury refused to indict the Midland Christian administrators and when the charges against the Trinity officials were later dropped.

Kyle McCardle has been with the Midland County DA's office since 2015.
Photo courtesy of Kyle McCardle
Kyle McCardle has been with the Midland County DA's office since 2015.

“When you take a case to trial that shouldn’t go to trial, either because a person’s innocent or because you don’t have sufficient evidence to prove their guilt, you’re putting someone through an incredible ordeal,” Harwood said. “Their reputation has been ruined in the community, and that happened to a lot of good people in Midland under the current district attorney.”

Harwood believes if voters choose him to be the community’s next DA, he’ll be able to provide the kind of leadership needed to fix the issues he’s observed.

McCardle, who worked in the DA's office during these well-publicized incidents, believes there were mitigating circumstances concerning how the cases were handled, but says there is work to be done in order to rebuild trust.

“There have been some cases that have been made high profile,” he said. “I don’t think a lot of [people] know what our involvement in it was, but obviously any trust lost needs to be restored.”

In order for the local prosecutors to have a better relationship with the community, McCardle said the DA’s office needs to be better about communicating with the public.

“I always say, ‘availability leads to accountability,’” he said. “That helps us set our standard for what justice is for this community.”

Early voting continues through 7 p.m. Friday. Election Day is Tuesday, March 5.

Mitch Borden is Permian Basin Reporter & Producer at Marfa Public Radio.