Thu. Jun 20th, 2024

After impeachment acquittal, Texas AG Ken Paxton is out for revenge

By 37ci3 Mar4,2024


Ken Paxton went on the campaign trail last week with a smile on his face.

She shines in the photos she posts of events Collin district, Denton district, Grayson District and Tarrant County, Texas’ Republican Attorney General promoted and promoted more than a dozen candidates on this week’s ballot. primary election.

Most are new faces in the Republican Party, as the legally embattled but popular statewide Paxton has no intention of supporting his party’s incumbents: Paxton is out for revenge.

“It’s time for a brand new slate in Collin County,” he wrote in a post with a photo of the five Republican candidates seeking to unseat the incumbent. The two of them are running in the same race — his tweet suggested voters choose one — but they all share one key feature in the primaries: They didn’t vote to impeach the attorney general last year.

It was Paxton announced impeachment on charges of corruption Last May by the Texas State House, with 60 votes from his own party, in the Texas State Senate acquitted him in September and reinstated him.

The attorney general has now endorsed candidates in more than 70 contests, most of which go to Republican lawmakers who are protesting GOP incumbents who voted against or voted for his impeachment. His social media accounts boast double-page, single-spaced list of approvals Up and down in Tuesday’s primary voting.

And he has a powerful ally in his effort: Former President Donald Trump has backed dozens of Paxton-backed candidates, making good on his promise to punish those who voted against his longtime ally.

This makes the already chaotic primary season in Texas yet another battleground in the Republican Party’s internal wars.

“What you see right now is a reflection of what happened [in] national politics. Have you seen how many state representative races Donald Trump has entered? Why is he so involved with the ballot? Because it’s heritage preservation,” said Texas Republican strategist Matt Langston. “It’s about ensuring there’s a consequence for paying if you’re on the wrong side.”

Last week, Trump suspended endorsements on social media after endorsing candidates backed by Paxton. He defended three judges Paxton supported for the Court of Criminal Appeals, angering Paxton when they blocked him from prosecuting election fraud and running for more than a dozen state legislatures.

Perhaps Paxton’s top target heading into Tuesday is state House Speaker Dade Phelan, who is overseeing impeachment efforts by the state attorney general. Paxton and Trump are backing Phelan’s leading GOP primary challenger, David Covey.

“David Covey is running against Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, who led the sham impeachment of recently re-elected Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton,” read a Trump post on Truth Social. . “Any Republican who supports Felan is an idiot and should be kicked out of the Republican Party – how bad is Felan, especially at Election Integrity!”

Trump Waco Texas
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Waco Regional Airport on March 25, 2023 in Waco, Texas.Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

The final part of the primary has Covey’s commercials is heavily emphasized Trump’s endorsement. In addition to appearing on the campaign trail, Paxton has also appeared in some of Covey’s campaign spots.

“Dade has lost his way and is more beholden to the Democrats who elected him speaker than the people who elected him to fight for them,” Paxton said. One of Covey’s commercials.

Phelan responded to Paxton and Trump’s attacks final announcement own

“The vindictive Paxton is the reason why Trump got himself into our race. If Paxton is going to break his vows to his wife and to God, why would he tell Trump or you the truth?” Phelan said, pointing to details of Paxton’s extramarital affair that were revealed during the trial.

Paxton isn’t the only major figure playing political firepower in Texas this season. GOP Gov. Greg Abbott has his own endorsement list, often differing from Paxton’s. While giving some political cover to state House impeachment managers, he targeted a number of rural Republicans who voted against the school choice bill.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has also been active on the trail, including advocating for Phelan.

“I will be honest with you. If you had told me 10 years ago that you would be trying to referee a contested Republican primary in Beaumont, Texas, I would have said, “Really?” I would say.”

“This infighting and all that kind of stuff, I honestly don’t understand why it happened,” he said. “I don’t know why I have to be in Beaumont, Texas when you get rid of Dade Phelan and you’re going to be completely out of your mind. I mean, we’re going to give you all mental aptitude tests.”

Paxton’s endorsements could benefit him if he seeks higher office. He is among the confirmations often attacks Texas US Senator John Cornyn, who is not up for re-election this year but supports Paxton’s impeachment, posted on social media.

Here are a few candidates Paxton endorsed in the primary Tuesday:

  • Republican state representative Travis Clardy, who voted against Paxton’s impeachment and has since sought to reform the impeachment process in the Texas House of Representatives.
  • Mitch Little, one of Paxton’s impeachment lawyers, is running for the state House of Representatives.
  • Republican state Rep. Gary Gates, who voted to impeach Paxton but has since said he regrets the vote.
  • Katrina Pierson, a former Trump campaign spokeswoman, is running for the state House of Representatives.
  • Joshua Feuerstein, a conservative internet personality who opposes same-sex marriage and abortion rights, said Paxton personally hired him to challenge state Rep. Kate Bell, a Republican who voted to impeach the state attorney general. Speaking at a rally at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, Feuerstein concluded with a fiery line: “It’s time for war! Let’s stop the theft!”





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