Paxton, Texas Attorney-General, May be Vulnerable Next Year

The Story:

In November 2022, the voters of Texas will vote for the post of State Attorney General. The incumbent, Ken Paxton (R) has vowed to run for a third term, but he has been weakened by allegations that he has used his office illegally to benefit a friend, real estate developer Nate Paul. The scandal led seven of Paxton’s top aides to send a whistle blowers’ letter to the AG office’s director of human resources. Three of those seven resigned, two were fired, and the other two have been put on leave.


In most states (in contrast to the post with the same name at the federal level) the office of attorney general is filled by elections. In Texas, the AG office is often a springboard for a someone with senatorial or gubernatorial ambitions. That springboard worked for the current Governor of the state, Greg Abbott.

The Thing to Know:

The fired whistleblowers in Paxton’s office have filed suit, appealing to protections in state law.  Paxton has sought to have the case dismissed: thus far without success. The Paul scandal, added to others in which Paxton is enmeshed, may well make him vulnerable either to an intra-party primary challenge or to a nominee of the Democratic Party next year.

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