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Ken Paxton, George P. Bush already sparring over potential attorney general GOP challenge

mySA logo mySA 5/20/2021 Priscilla Aguirre
Ken Paxton wearing a suit and tie: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Tuesday, July 28, 2020, that local health officials cannot shut down all schools in their vicinity while COVID-19 cases rise. Soon afterward, the Texas Education Agency reversed course. © Nick Wagner /Associated Press

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Tuesday, July 28, 2020, that local health officials cannot shut down all schools in their vicinity while COVID-19 cases rise. Soon afterward, the Texas Education Agency reversed course.

Things are already heating up between Ken Paxton and George P. Bush over the potential Texas Attorney General GOP primary challenge. 

Bush, Texas Land Commissioner, hasn't even officially announced what office he'll be running for in 2022, but he's sending strong signals he's planning to challenge Paxton. On Tuesday, he told Texas Tribune podcaster Evan Smith he's planning to announce his intentions in June. 

In the podcast, Bush said there are some small things he would tweak about the office of the attorney general, but the problem is not with the message Paxton delivers, "it's the messenger." He pointed to Paxton's indictment on securities fraud, saying "I don't care what party you're in, that's just disgraceful."

Paxton is also currently under investigation from the FBI for alleged bribery and abuse of office and faces a retaliation lawsuit filed by several former employees based on these accusations.

READ ALSO: 'It's a clear overreach': Texas leaders respond to Gov. Greg Abbott's recent actions

Paxton took an opportunity to talk about his potential opponent during his radio interview on "The Mark Davis Show" on Tuesday. In short, he's not impressed or nervous.

"He's kind of got this mentality that he's going to be president someday and he's got to get started," Paxton said of Bush. "I know for a fact that he's told people that he was either going to run for governor, lieutenant governor or against me."

Paxton said that Bush "hates being land commissioner" and won't challenge Patrick or Abbott because they have too much cash to support their campaign. Paxton speculated Bush is "settling" for the AG run because he doesn't have as much money.

"He's not going to run against me on the issues because he's not competent to do the job," Paxton said. "I think he just got his law license back and he has really no experience in practicing law. He has experience as a land commissioner and that hasn't gone so well ... he hasn't even proved himself in that, let alone a job like this that takes a lot of legal ability, which he has none of."

READ ALSO: Ted Cruz made another joke about his mid-freeze Cancun trip

Paxton also confirmed he is definitely running for reelection, his second bid since he was indicted in 2015. Paxton then lashed out, both at Bush and the felony fraud charges against him, which will turn 6 years old in July.

"This idea of a speedy trial you're supposed to have under the Constitution, it's not happening because, I mean, they don't have a case. If they had a case, it wouldn't take six years. So this is all political. George P. is political," Paxton said.

Meanwhile, on the other side, democrat Joe Jaworski, a former Galveston mayor, said he plans on running for attorney general, according to Corpus Christi Caller-Times

The election isn't until Nov. 8, 2022, and it looks like it's going to be a long fight to the finish line.

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