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Embattled Texas AG Paxton Faces Off Against George P. Bush In Runoff

Talking Points Memo logo Talking Points Memo 3/2/2022 Cristina Cabrera
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Even with ex-president Donald Trump’s endorsement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) failed to get more than 50 percent of the vote in his GOP primary race on Tuesday, forcing him into a runoff against Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.

Bush, who is the son of ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), the nephew of ex-president George W. Bush and the grandson of ex-president George H.W. Bush, came in second place, bumping Paxton’s two other Republican challengers out of the runoff (pour one out for Rep. Louie Gohmert).

The Austin-American Statesman reports that Paxton brushed off the election results on Tuesday night, telling supporters that running against an “establishment” candidate like Bush was “nothing new” for him.

The runoff will be held on May 24.

Paxton is fighting to keep his seat as he drowns in legal woes involving allegations of corruption and retaliation against whistleblowers, an indictment for securities fraud and a State Bar investigation into his efforts to help Trump overturn the 2020 election.

In the meantime, the attorney general’s been trying to prove himself as the Trumpiest candidate, including putting out a legal opinion that claimed that allowing transgender kids to receive gender-affirming care was “child abuse.”

For his part, Bush too has tried to out-MAGA his competitors by trotting out a hardline stance on the border, and chucking his own family under the bus with a pro-Trump campaign ad that didn’t mention any of his high-power relatives and campaign merch bragging about being the only Bush Trump likes.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Jeb Bush. He was the former governor of Florida.

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