The gubernatorial election has obviously received a great deal of publicity this year, as has (to a lesser extent) the lieutenant gubernatorial election. Little ink has been spilled, though, covering the contentious race for Attorney General. The race is between State Senator Ken Paxton (R-Collin County), the Republican, and the fortuitously-named Sam Houston, the Democrat. Houston is an attorney from a City that bears his name, who has previously run for the Texas Supreme Court. Paxton, who has been in the Senate since last year and previously served in the State House for a decade, is one of the most extreme conservatives in the legislature.
Paxton, for his part, is a pretty shoddy lawyer who himself is vying for top lawyer job in Texas. As The Dallas Morning News refreshes us on, he is facing possible felony indictment for improperly steering clients in his law firm toward an investment firm that he had a stake in –without properly disclosing as much. The Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office (sound familiar?) is currently investigating this. Now, the general public certainly does not know this, so Paxton is hoping to keep this race rather low profile, so that he may simply cruise to victory on straight-ticket voting. Houston, for his part, is fighting back to try to ensure that does not happen.
At the start of the week, Houston challenged Paxton to a televised debate, in a high-profile speech where he lambasted his opponent for hiding out of sight from the public. Paxton’s campaign has responded by calling the debate-request a “ploy.” Just think about that, we’ve gotten to a point where a request to compare political positions is somehow a ploy.
Anyways, Paxton himself thinks he is sitting pretty before November. The Houston Chronicle reports that his campaign’s internal poll has shown that Paxton leads Houston by 24 points, 52% to 28%. The logistics of the poll and its methodology make the results somewhat suspect, but one would be hard-pressed to find anyone who does not stipulate Paxton’s huge lead in this race in some capacity.
I’ll admit it, I had some serious doubts about Houston’s candidacy when it was first announced last year. He has no political experience whatsoever, and a good name can only take you so far. But Houston has positively surprised me in many ways. His campaign team is impeccable, and they have been running a very effective ground game thus far in the year. Of course, it does help immeasurably that his opponent is equal parts extreme and inept, both of which are qualities making him enormously unfit for high executive office.
I honestly don’t know if Paxton’s alleged transgressions would be a result of incompetence or just him being a crook, and, frankly, I don’t really care. Either way, he shouldn’t be the Attorney General.