With Republicans eyeing yet another rout of Democrats statewide in 2022, some leftwing activists are pushing for their comrades to influence the Republican runoff for Attorney General.
Incumbent Ken Paxton was pushed into a runoff for the Republican nomination after failing to secure a majority of votes in the March 1 primary. Paxton, who had four challengers for the GOP nod, received 42.7 percent of the vote. In the runoff, he will face the runner-up candidate, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who received 22.8 percent.
There is also a runoff in the Democrat primary for Attorney General. Rochelle Mercedes Garza will face Joe Jaworski.
It has been 28 years since a Democrat was elected statewide in Texas.
Because of that, some Democrats are hoping to influence the AG race to their benefit. Posting in Reddit’s Texas Politics forum, one user posted a “public service announcement” to her fellow Democrats:
“Democrats who didn’t vote in the Texas Primaries can vote AGAINST Paxton in the upcoming runoff election!” wrote a user with the screen name “u/papergabby.”
In the Texas Democratic Party’s own Reddit channel, a writer with the handle “u/Fit-Environment-8140” added:
“Any Texas Democrat who doesn’t vote in the Texas Primary: We can vote *AGAINST* Paxton in his upcoming runoff election.”
Attorney Tony McDonald confirmed state law allows anyone to participate in a primary runoff, provided they did not vote in a different party’s primary that same year.
“Under Texas law, voters and candidates ‘affiliate’ with a party each election cycle when they file to run or vote in a party’s primary,” McDonald explained in an interview. “That means that Democrats are free to file and vote in the Republican primary runoff unless they’ve already voted or run in the Democratic primary this cycle.”
There is no public indication that Mr. Bush is courting Democrats in the 2022 runoff. His campaign did not respond to inquiries in time for publication. Any response will be added to this article.
“Of course, Democrats would want to meddle in the Republican run-offs on behalf of George P. Bush. Bush’s record is a smattering of failures in his current office, notably his embarrassing failure regarding his poor excuse of a ‘border-wall lawsuit,'” said Paxton campaign spokesman Kimberly Hubbard.
George P. Bush clearly lacks the legal experience and record to conduct the job as Attorney General, evidenced by his decision to allow his Texas law license to lapse for almost a decade. Texans need an experienced Attorney General who can continue to win in court against Joe Biden and Democrats’ radical agenda, not an untested rookie. George P. Bush would be a much weaker opponent in the general election because he lacks the proven record of success and ability to rally Texas conservatives. General Paxton has defeated Democrat-led efforts on the campaign trail and in the courtroom many times before and looks forward to winning the run-off election and uniting Texas conservatives.
In the March 1 primary, 1.7 million Republicans voted in the GOP attorney general race—compared to just over million Democrats participating in theirs. The runoff election will be held Tuesday, May 24.