In Trump's shadow, Paxton and Bush square off for Texas AG
Trump ally and embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton squares off tomorrow against challenger George P. Bush, the scion of the Bush family dynasty, in a Republican runoff.
Why it matters: The Paxton-Bush race is a distillation of the internecine politics in the Trump-era GOP.
The big picture: The race has gotten nasty, with Bush calling Paxton a crook unfit to be the state's top law enforcement official.
- Paxton is under indictment for securities fraud and facing a federal corruption investigation.
- On Thursday, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a fellow Texas Republican, called Paxton's legal woes "an embarrassment."
Yes, but: Paxton, has the all-important endorsement of former President Trump.
- Paxton filed a lawsuit in 2020 challenging the election results — and appeared at the Jan. 6 "Stop the Steal" rally.
- Bush, meanwhile, has benefited from the fundraising of the family network..
What really fascinates us: Bush, currently Texas' land commissioner, tried to get Trump's endorsement, even after the former president had repeatedly denigrated his father, Jeb.
Between the lines: Only the most dedicated voters will participate in Tuesday's runoff.
- If you voted in a party primary in March, you can vote only in that same party’s runoff. Voters who didn't cast a ballot in the primary can vote in either party’s runoff.
The betting favorite: Prognosticators say Bush didn't hit hard soon enough, and Paxton will likely prevail.
- On the "Texas Take" politics podcast, veteran reporter Scott Braddock said he wouldn't be surprised to see Paxton win by a 70-30 margin.
Other races we're watching: Austin police officer Justin Berry — who won Gov. Greg Abbott's endorsement after he was charged with felony assault for his conduct during the May 2020 racial justice protests — squares off against former Austin City Council member Ellen Troxclair in a GOP Texas House race for a district that includes parts of western Travis County, Fredericksburg, Boerne and Burnet.
- Republican Texas Railroad Commissioner — climate-change-denier and former gospel singer — Wayne Christian is being challenged by attorney Sarah Stogner to helm an agency that regulates the oil and gas industry.
What's next: Come November, GOP nominees will be the favorites in statewide races — no Democrat has won a statewide race in Texas since 1994.
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show voters who didn't cast a ballot in the primary can vote in either party's runoff.
More Austin stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Austin.