Texas holds primary runoff elections Tuesday, and the Republican race for attorney general pits two North Texans against each other. State Rep. Dan Branch of Dallas says only he has the legal experience to do the job. And he argues that his opponent, State Sen. Ken Paxton of McKinney, doesn’t deserve to be the state’s top lawyer because he’s admitted violating financial reporting requirements.
"His own police force in McKinney - his hometown – has announced their un-endorsement. They’ve withdrawn their endorsement because of his repeated violations of our securities and out ethics laws," Branch says. "And there’s a lot of questions now looming about that and whether or not he’s now subject to state criminal or federal civil disciplinary concerns. I think we need to have the most effective conservative and the most qualified lawyer. My record fits that bill."
Paxton, who had a big lead on primary night thanks to tea party backing, says he’s paid a $1,000 fine and Branch is exaggerating.
"Listen, there’s no lawyer out there that’s an expert on every area of law. Securities law is a very complicated – even some of the experts have disagreements over what things mean because they’re not always clear," Paxton says.
"For 12 years, I’ve had a conservative record whether it’s on fiscal issues or social issues. My opponent has not. Whether it’s on the budget and voting for massive increases in spending, whether it’s co-authoring a large tax increase, he’s running significantly to the right of his own record."
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Tune in to KERA 90.1 FM starting at 7 p.m. for live updates on election returns. Our digital editor Eric Aasen will be live blogging the latest at keranews.org.