Close race to challenge Attorney General Ken Paxton in likely Republican primary runoff

Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 11:00 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 21, 2022 at 11:01 AM CST
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AUSTIN, Texas (KBTX) - The Republican race for Texas Attorney General is one of the closest on the ballot this primary season. Recent polls suggest it’s likely headed to a runoff between incumbent Ken Paxton and one of his three challengers.

If you ask George P. Bush, Eva Guzman, or Louie Gohmert why they’re running for attorney general, you’ll get some very similar answers.

“When the FBI announced an investigation into our top cop for bribery corruption and abuse of office charges I knew it was time to offer something different,” said Bush.

“Ken Paxton is too distracted, he’s mired in scandal, he’s not doing a good job,” said Guzman.

“We needed a different attorney general nominee from our party,” said Gohmert.

Incumbent Ken Paxton was indicted for securities fraud charges, then faced new criminal allegations from members of his own team in 2020.

Paxton’s competitors all have similar priorities, like stopping illegal immigration at the border, but they each bring a unique experience to a potential term as AG.

Eva Guzman is a former State Supreme Court justice, but she started in a trial court.

“Sixty percent of the work of the attorney general is child support collection. That means delivering to everyday Texas families an efficient child support system. My first trial court bench was a family court bench,” said Guzman

Louie Gohmert started his legal career as an attorney and a judge. You probably know him best as a congressman representing East Texas since 2005.

“In my years in Congress on the judiciary committee, I’ve been fighting over words and phrases since I’ve been there, over our laws pertaining to the courts. I think I’m proven as a fighter,” said Gohmert.

George P. Bush got his start as an attorney while serving in the US Naval Reserve. Now he’s wrapping up his second term as Texas Land Commissioner.

“I’m the only candidate in this race that brings executive experience in the private sector, public sector, and our nation’s military. I’ve actually sued the Obama administration and the Biden administration and as land commissioner, I’m working to build the Texas wall,” said Bush.

Paxton is the only candidate in this primary who chose not to be interviewed by KBTX. We never even heard back from his campaign after reaching out multiple times. Paxton has held several recent press conferences as attorney general focused on the latest lawsuits he’s filed. Candidate Paxton, however, has not done interviews.

His website lists similar priorities to his opponents, like standing with law enforcement and supporting voter ID laws. Here’s some of his take on the border.

“When you say as the leadership of the country, the president says that we’re not gonna deport you, you create a massive incentive for the cartels to start bringing people up here. So there’s a financial incentive cause they get paid large sums of money. Today they said the average is $8,000 per person,” said Paxton at a press conference about the border.

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