Bush family scion will take on incumbent Ken Paxton, who is facing criminal charges and FBI investigation
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor
AUSTIN (CFP) — Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush will seek the Republican nomination for Texas attorney general in 2022, in a bid to oust incumbent Ken Paxton, who is facing a criminal trial and an FBI investigation.
Bush — the grandson and nephew of U.S. presidents with the most famous family name in Texas politics — warned conservatives that Paxton was a “weak link” who would lose the office to Democrats if he were nominated again.
“We have a web of corruption and lies that affects one of the highest offices in our land, and it’s time for a change,” Bush told supporters at a bar in Austin Wednesday evening. “Enough is enough, Ken. You’ve brought too much scandal and too little integrity to this office.”
Bush even went so far to compare Paxton’s legal troubles to the misdeeds of former President Bill Clinton, adding that “as conservatives, we can’t look the other way when one of our own does the same thing over and over again.”
Bush, 45, is the son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his wife, Columba, an immigrant from Mexico. He became the fourth generation of his family to serve in elected office when he won a 2014 race for land commissioner, which manages state lands and mineral rights. He was re-elected in 2018.
Paxton’s campaign responded to Bush’s announcement with a statement that did not address the allegations against him but touted his record as a “rock-solid conservative” and the “tip of the spear in protecting President [Donald] Trump’s America First principles.”
Paxton, 57, serving his second term as attorney general, is facing a slew of legal and ethical problems. He faces a trial on securities fraud charges stemming from before his time as attorney general, and the FBI launched a criminal investigation in 2020 after several of his top aides publicly accused him of misusing his office to help a wealthy campaign contributor.
Paxton has denied any wrongdoing. His attorneys have managed to delay his state trial on securities fraud charges for more than six years, in a fight over where the case should be heard. He was re-elected in 2018 after his indictment.
Paxton has also been an outspoken and vocal supporter of former Trump, even organizing a lawsuit that unsuccessful challenged the results of his 2020 election loss.
However, unlike his father and other members of the Bush family, George P. Bush has also been a Trump supporter and publicly touted a conversation he had with Trump before announcing his challenge to Paxton.
Trump has indicated that he will probably offer an endorsement in the race, saying “I like them both very much.”
Paxton’s wife, Angela, is a Texas state senator. Bush is the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush and the nephew of George W. Bush.