Updated November 23 8:30AM with Krause’s statement.
Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) told WFAA Monday that he will be dropping out of the crowded Republican primary for Attorney General and will instead run for the open seat for Tarrant County District Attorney. This move was first reported by the Quorum Report’s Scott Braddock.
On Tuesday, Krause said his decision to drop out of the AG’s race was due to the opening of the Tarrant County District Attorney seat following incumbent Sharon Wilson’s “unexpected announcement” to retire. “After much prayer and consideration, our family is excited about the opportunity to serve our home county as the next Criminal District Attorney and carry on the great work and legacy of CDA Wilson.”
In the two months since Krause announced his campaign for Attorney General, the Fort Worth Republican struggled to build name recognition statewide. In a November University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, only three percent of respondents said they would vote for Krause in the Republican primary for Attorney General.
Observers say Krause’s low name recognition might explain his controversial decision to use his position as Chair of the House General Investigating Committee to launch a probe into books about race, sexuality, and abortion in public school classrooms and libraries.
When Krause launched his campaign, he said Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman were insufficiently conservative and he would better fit the conservative values of Ken Paxton without the legal troubles. It is unclear if Congressman Louie Gohmert’s announcement to join the primary affected Krause’s decision.
Krause told the Texas Tribune he intends to help Gohmert defeat Paxton in the primary.
The Republican primary for Attorney General now has incumbent Ken Paxton, who is under indictment for securities fraud and an FBI investigation for bribery, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, and Congressman Louie Gohmert.
As Krause is not running for re-election in Texas House District 93, it remains open. The following three candidates have announced their campaign to run for the seat as Republicans: Former Southlake Mayor Laura Hill, Fort Worth City CouncilmanCary Moon, and former Pastor and anti-human trafficking advocate Nathaniel Schatzline. There is also one Democrat who has filed for the seat, Tarrant County Asian American & Pacific Islander Committee Chair Kazi Chowdhury.