Ken Paxton defeats Democratic nominee Rochelle Garza

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton won a third term as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, defeating Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza, according to a projection 

As of the time of publication, Paxton had received 55.5 percent of the vote while 41.8 percent of the ballots had been cast for Garza.

Paxton ran on his record of suing the Biden administration almost a dozen times over illegal immigration and the border crisis. He has secured several favorable decisions by federal judges appointed by former President Trump, such as when Judge Drew Tipton decided against the federal government’s more lax deportation rules.

Accusing Paxton of “fear-mongering” on border issues, Garza opposed his support for stronger border security efforts and criticized his “fear-mongering about a crisis on the border.”

Garza highlighted the 2015 indictment against Paxton on securities fraud charges. Paxton has not been scheduled for trial and the criminal accusations have dragged on for years in Texas courtrooms.

Decrying the reversal of Roe v. Wade, Garza promised to prioritize advocating for abortion access as Texas attorney general. She described the office as the “queen on the chessboard.”

The race between Paxton and Garza was marked by familiar policy differences between a Republican and a Democrat, but also included bizarre controversies.

Paxton reportedly tried to flee from a courier serving him a subpoena connected to a lawsuit initiated by pro-choice groups in Texas seeking to protect out-of-state travel for abortion. He asserted he was trying to protect himself and his wife, Sen. Angela Paxton (R-McKinney), from an unfamiliar individual.

Former employees of Paxton have also accused him of misconduct including abuse of office, accepting bribes, and lying to the media about whistleblowers.

Democrats have criticized Paxton for participating in former President Trump’s lawsuits to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Paxton won the Republican nomination after beating Land Commissioner George P. Bush in the runoff on May 24. In the Democratic runoff, Garza defeated Joe Jaworski, the former mayor of Galveston.

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