There are signs that Paxton’s litany of controversy has tested the limits of Texan Republicans’ patience with him. Rep. Chip Roy, a conservative who used to work for Mr. Paxton, called for his resignation in 2020. Along with Mr. Bush, Mr. Paxton’s main challengers included Representative Louie Gohmert, who gave up a safe congressional seat in East Texas. against him, and Eva Guzman, who resigned from the Texas Supreme Court to challenge him in the primaries.
During his campaign, Mr. Gohmert that Mr. Paxton would face new federal charges after winning the Republican nomination and losing the general election to a Democrat. If Mr. Paxton does win the nomination, but is defeated in November, it would be a devastating first for Republicans: Since 1994, not a single Democrat has won a state office in Texas.
Rochelle Garza, a South Texas civil rights attorney, won the Democratic primary for attorney general and is headed for a runoff. Her Democratic opponent remained unclear. The third-place vote catcher, Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney, said in a statement that he was unwilling to give in to second-place candidate Joe Jaworski, a former mayor of Galveston, because military and other ballots are still ongoing. were maintained. counted. Ms. Garza said she was confident the attorney general’s office could be flipped from red to blue. In 2018, Mr Paxton won re-election by narrowly beating his opponent, Justin Nelson, by 3.56 percentage points.
Paxton has brushed aside any suggestion of a Democratic victory in the fall. “In this country, accusations don’t condemn you,” he said in the radio interview in Lubbock.
Mr. Paxton’s aides said Texas Republicans don’t care about the allegations and controversy surrounding his office. They claimed credit for attacking Mr. Gohmert and Mrs. Guzman to enable Mr. Bush to advance to the second round. After the Paxton campaign attacked Ms Guzman in television advertisements in the final days before the primaries, she dropped from 21 percent of the vote during the early voting period to just 14 percent of the vote on Tuesday.
“These ads clearly cost Eva a run-off seat,” Dick Weekley, the senior chairman of the mainstream Republican group Texans for Lawsuit Reform, which endorsed Ms. Guzman, wrote in an email to supporters after the primary.
Both Mr. Paxton and Mr. Bush will certainly continue to position themselves as the true steward for Trump supporters among Republicans in Texas.