This report is part of a series of profile stories Nexstar is doing on Republican and Democratic candidates for Texas Attorney General. See you Monday evening for the report on the Democratic candidate Rochelle Garza.
AUSTIN (Nexstar) — As early voting for the March 1 primary kicks off, incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton is voting below the threshold needed to avoid a runoff.
Any candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to avoid a second round. Earlier this week, a University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll showed Paxton with 47% of Republican primary voters, current Lands Commissioner General George P. Bush with 21%, former U.S. Court Justice Texas Supreme Eva Guzman with 16% and current Congresswoman Louie Gohmert with 15%.
All three challengers said Paxton’s personal legal issues played a major role in entering the race. In addition to his pending securities fraud indictment, seven of Paxton’s top aides have reported him to the FBI with allegations of bribery and abuse of power.
Guzman said her experience sets her apart from the incumbent and the challengers.
“Texas hires a lawyer. I’m asking Texans to hire an attorney with 22 years of legal experience. 12 of them in the Supreme Court of Texas, the highest court in the state,” Guzman said.
“I am known for my respect for the rule of law. Ken Paxton thinks he’s above the rule of law. George P. Bush has not seen inside a courtroom as a lawyer since 2003. Louie Gohmert missed 846 votes in Congress. We need an attorney general who’s going to show up for work,” Guzman said.
All four candidates cite border security as a top priority. The February UT/Texas Politics Project poll, Republican primary voters said border security and immigration are the top two issues currently facing the state.
Guzman said his efforts to secure our state’s southern border will be focused in court.
“That includes bringing the kinds of lawsuits that compel the Biden administration to do its job, which is to bring enough magistrates to the border, to make sure those claims are dealt with. I will use the courts to force the Biden administration to comply with article two of the Constitution, the precautionary clause, and under article four, to prosecute for the invasion, whether it is fentanyl, humans or cartels, this is an invasion,” Guzman explained.
She said border issues are personal to her.
“No one is more motivated than me. Unfortunately, and tragically, my father was killed many years ago by an illegal immigrant. I will sue Joe Biden, I will protect our borders so no other family has to go through what we did, anyone can commit a crime,” Guzman said.
Beyond border issues, Guzman said if elected, she would also focus on protecting Texans from government excesses.
“I will always fight anything that impedes or restricts our individual freedoms, whether it’s mask mandates, the closing of our churches, vaccine mandates, we must say no to these types of intrusions,” he said. Guzman said.
The last day for early voting is February 25, the last day to request an absentee ballot is February 18, and the primary itself is Tuesday, March 1.