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Paxton And Abbott Clash Over GOP Incumbents

Attorney General Ken Paxton is seeking revenge against House Republicans who voted to impeach him, but Gov. Greg Abbott is backing at least 17 Republicans targeted by Paxton.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Paxton has endorsed the primary opponents of 20 GOP House incumbents in what has been described as a revenge tour. But Abbott is endorsing at least 17 incumbents who voted to impeach Paxton. Abbott is trying to keep Republicans who support his school choice plan.

“A win for Abbott is to show strong support from people who support him on very specific issues like school choice,” said Dallas-based conservative radio talk show host Mark Davis. “The Paxton definition of success is to exact a political death toll for the people who came after him.”

Where the two interests differ most is in Collin County, Paxton is trying to unseat all five Republicans in the Legislature, but Abbott has called on voters to maintain four of the five to the Texas House.

While the two have different priorities and clash in many ways, neither Abbott nor Paxton has criticized the other’s actions.

“I’m not afraid of anything. I’m not afraid of anybody else,” Paxton said when The Dallas Morning News asked him if he was worried about Abbott standing on his way.

“It’s very important to me that we elect the right people, and right now the members of the Collin County delegation are some of the worst representatives from Collin County I’ve ever seen,” he added.

Candidates who have Abbott’s endorsement tend to have more advertising because the Governor has more money available. In addition, Abbott generally has higher approval ratings and his border security message has more appeal.

Still, Paxton has a lot of popularity among activists who vote in GOP primaries.

“The power of Paxton is that he has been in the press,” said Republican political consultant Matthew Langston. “The vast group of Republicans that are primary voters seem to feel that Paxton has been unfairly targeted, similar to Trump. And so does that power compete with money? We don’t know.”

Paxton is not only seeking revenge against House Republicans, as he has also targeted three incumbent judges running for their seats on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

The three incumbents joined a 2021 decision to reject his efforts to unilaterally prosecute voter fraud.

In the upcoming March 5 primary, the priorities of different politicians will clash within party lines, as not only Paxton and Abbott are protecting their interests, but there are also key players like U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, former Gov. Rick Perry and former President Donald Trump.
“We need to diagram these races between people that are not for school choice, people who voted for impeachment and all the other subplots,” said Austin-based lobbyist Bill Miller. “It’s just a mess. I’ve never seen such a cross-section of interests and opposition.”

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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