AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton put his job and his ability to withstand legal issues on the line Tuesday in a Republican primary runoff against George P. Bush, whose own record family was at stake.
The result in America’s greatest red state will test how much weight does the bush name still carry in texas, where family roots run deep. He will also assess whether an incumbent backed by former President Donald Trump, who helped steer Texas more right-wing by limiting transgender rights and investigating the election, can keep a grip on GOP voters in the face of accusations. growing.
It’s one of two closely watched primaries in Texas: on the Democratic side, U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar, one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Congress, is in the fight of his political career against Jessica Cisneros, who supports the right to abortion.
Bush, who is currently Texas lands commissioner, forced a runoff against Paxton in a packed four-way primary in March that brought to the fore an ongoing FBI investigation in the two-term holder on corruption charges. Paxton is also still awaiting trial for securities fraud after being indicted in 2015.
More recently, the State Bar of Texas consider possible reprimands against Paxton for his baseless attempts to nullify the 2020 election.
But despite finishing second, Bush trailed by 20 points. The wide gap underscores Paxton’s continued political durability and how much ground the 46-year-old scion of the Bush political dynasty needs to catch up with GOP voters in Texas, where his uncle, former President George W. Bush, was once governor. and her late grandfather, former President George HW Bush, was a congressman and longtime resident of Houston.
But Bush’s influence in the GOP is no longer what it used to be.
Two years ago, Pierce Bush, a cousin of George P. Bush, became the first member of his family to lose a race in Texas in 40 years in a failed race for Congress in Houston. Paxton seized on the shift with Republican voters while embracing Trump, who endorsed Paxton and has mocked and antagonized the Bush family over the years while taking the family’s place as GOP standard bearers.
When U.S. Senator John Cornyn of Texas last week became one of the few top Republicans to publicly criticize Paxton, calling his longstanding and unsolved criminal case an “embarrassment”, Paxton retaliated by aligning him with the Bushes.
“I am not shocked by the senator’s comments. He represents the Bush wing of the GOP,” Paxton tweeted.
In the final weeks of the campaign, Bush escalated his attacks on Paxton’s legal troubles, running ads highlighting the unsolved indictments and FBI investigation, and calling him unfit to perform his duties. functions.
“This race is not about my last name,” Bush said in an ad. “It’s about the crimes of Ken Paxton.”