Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and three challengers vie for the Republican primary nomination

Four candidates are running in the Mar. 1 Republican primary election for Texas Attorney General—incumbent Ken Paxton, George P. Bush, Louis Gohmert, and Eva Guzman.

Paxton was first elected Attorney General in 2014. In June 2021, he received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump (R). Paxton said, “As the values conservative endorsed by President Trump, I am proud of my record standing up to and defeating the Biden Administration – repeatedly. I stand by my record and values, and ask each voter to join President Trump in standing with me for a safer and stronger Texas.”

Paxton’s challengers have said allegations that Paxton engaged in criminal misconduct make him unfit for office. In 2015, a grand jury indicted Paxton on securities fraud charges. The case remains open, and no trial has been scheduled. Additionally, the FBI opened an investigation into Paxton in 2020 after former aides accused him of bribery and abuse of office.

Paxton has denied wrongdoing in both cases.

Bush, who became Texas Land Commissioner in 2015, said he’s running because “Texans deserve a top advocate that’s above reproach, not under indictment, focused on the job, going to defend our state against federal overreach, but also take on progressive mayors that are doing everything, for example, here in Austin, such as defunding the police.” Bush said that as attorney general, he would secure the border, support law enforcement, jail human traffickers, and restore integrity to the office.

Gohmert has represented Texas’ 1st Congressional District since 2005. He said he jumped into the race because he is concerned the FBI could indict Paxton after the primary, handing the general election to a Democratic candidate. In an ad, Gohmert said, “Ken Paxton is under indictment for securities fraud and facing a federal investigation for bribery and corruption, so Louie Gohmert is running to save Texas and restore honesty and integrity to the office of Attorney General.” Gohmert said he would fight to preserve election integrity, oppose unconstitutional pandemic mandates, and stop illegal immigration.

Guzman served on the Texas Supreme Court from 2009 to 2021. She completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. She said she was running because she believes “it’s time we restore experience, integrity, and credibility to the Texas Attorney General’s Office.” She pointed to her experience as a judge as a reason she should be attorney general, saying the office “requires someone with a deep knowledge of both criminal and civil law and the ability to digest complex legal issues–and win. I know how to win cases because I know how to think like a judge.”

A candidate winning more than 50% of the vote automatically advances to the Nov. 8 general election. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will advance to a primary runoff.

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