Paxton, Bush advance to runoff in Texas Attorney General Republican primary

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and George P. Bush advanced to a May 24 primary runoff, after neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote in the March 1 primary election.

Paxton won 42.7% of the vote, while Bush won 22.4%. Candidates Eva Guzman and Louis Gohmert received 17.8% and 17.1% of the vote, respectively.

Paxton was first elected Attorney General in 2014. He was re-elected in 2018, defeating Justin Nelson (D) 50.6% to 47%. Paxton ran on his record as Attorney General—a record he says includes challenging the Biden administration in court and guarding religious freedom.

In June 2021, former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Paxton. 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.”

Bush is the Texas Land Commissioner, a position to which he was first elected in 2014. His campaign has focused on border security, law enforcement, combating human trafficking, and restoring integrity to the office.

Bush said allegations that Paxton engaged in criminal misconduct make him unfit for office. In 2015, Paxton was indicted on three counts related to securities fraud violations. The case is still open, and no trial has been scheduled. In 2020, the FBI opened an investigation into claims that Paxton used the Office of the Attorney General to benefit a political donor. Paxton has denied wrongdoing in both cases.

Bush said: “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.”

Texas has had a Republican attorney general since 1999.

At the time of this writing, the Democratic primary had not been decided. Rochelle Garza had 43.6% of the vote, while Joe Jaworski had 19.6%.