Texas election: Paxton, Garza vie for Attorney General

dfwnewsa | November 8, 2022 | 0 | politics , Texas Politics

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Democrat Rochelle Garza is challenging incumbent Republican Ken Paxton to represent Texas as attorney general.

Leading up to the 2022 midterm election, some polls indicated this race could be one of Democrats’ best chances at winning a statewide office. Republican candidates have held the position for three decades.

See election results below after polls close at 7 p.m. CT.

Paxton is vying for a third term as the state’s top attorney after taking office in 2015.

Since then, he has filed dozens of lawsuits against federal officials under the Biden administration, over issues such as abortion and election integrity. Paxton has emphasized his goal of preserving the Constitution, which he believes is “under assault from liberals that seek to centralize power,” according to his campaign website. KXAN reached out to Paxton several times for comment leading up to the election but has yet to hear back.

His campaign has avoided discussing his ongoing legal issues, including a pending securities fraud indictment from years ago to more recent allegations of abuse of office and official misconduct, as well as an investigation by the FBI.

In the 2018 election, three years after his indictment, Paxton won the race by over three percentage points.

In the days leading up to the 2022 midterms, Paxton’s office launched the Election Integrity Team and has been investigating complaints about alleged voting violations.

Paxton has also rallied supporters over issues of public safety, reminding them about the special unit combating human trafficking he created and his coordination with state law enforcement on border security. He has attacked the response of the federal government and his opponent on border policies, claiming Garza supports completely open borders and defends human traffickers.

KXAN’s Avery Travis spoke to the Democratic candidate at a rally in Hays County on the last day of early voting, where Garza addressed her opponent’s attacks.

“I started off my legal career as an immigration lawyer, and I know we have to be tough on human trafficking, drug trafficking, and we can do all of those things. And we can also treat people humanely,” she said. “I’m going to be fighting for Texans. If that includes making sure that we hold the federal government accountable to do their job, then that’s just what it includes.”

Garza said her work as a civil rights attorney and her role as a mother to a 7-month-old daughter makes her someone who “deeply understands” Texas working families and the issues they care about — especially when it comes to Texans’ grievances with the health care system.”

She has centered her campaign around abortion rights in the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, but she said she also hopes to focus on consumer protections.

In response to a recent KXAN investigation regarding problems with the office’s Crime Victims’ Compensation division, Garza said she would prioritize funding and resources for employees in that division to help disperse the money owed to victims more efficiently.

In recent weeks, Paxton has filed lawsuits against big tech companies over users’ privacy concerns and has helped launched a new opioid prevention program, aimed at protecting student-athletes. His campaign said he has been aggressive in his approach to protecting Texans from illegal synthetic drugs.

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