President Trump dropped an endorsement this week that turned quite a few heads.
The Texas Attorney General election has been heating up, with two major candidates vying for Trump’s endorsement.
On Monday, Trump ended the drama, giving his endorsement to Ken Paxton, shocking George P. Bush, who had met with Trump and more than likely thought he had this locked up.
Ken Paxton for AG
Paxton is a bit of a mixed bag for Texans.
He has been tough on immigration, supports law enforcement and the military, but there is a lot of baggage that comes with him.
Be it true or partisan attacks, it will give Democrats something to go after him on.
At the top of that list would be the accusations against Paxton for abuse of power, a claim that led to eight of his staff members resigning and an open FBI investigation.
Paxton also has a securities fraud case on deck from 2015 (he has pleaded not guilty in the preliminary).
Paxton also got caught up in the 2020 election mess, and he is now facing down an investigation from the Texas State Bar Association on charges of misconduct for his lawsuit against battleground states.
Even with all of that, Trump picked him over Bush…
Honored to receive the endorsement of President Donald J. Trump. pic.twitter.com/LMOtAjVooy
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) July 27, 2021
This clearly stunned Bush, who had even had swag printed up touting his relationship with Trump…
I missed out on the @georgepbush swag yesterday: The koozie says "this is the only Bush that likes me. This is the Bush that got it right. I like him" – Donald Trump #txlege pic.twitter.com/pFTzQCmoRG
— Scott Braddock (@scottbraddock) June 3, 2021
Bush did not attack Trump after the endorsement was given, instead deciding to highlight the legal problems of Paxton…
I’m running for Attorney General because Texans deserve integrity and honesty from the office of Texas’ top law enforcement official. Texans deserve a candidate without a laundry list of existing and potential criminal indictments.
— George P. Bush (@georgepbush) July 27, 2021
I would imagine that in the end, Trump could not get past the attacks from the Bush family during his presidency, so he decided Paxton was the way to go here regardless of the baggage he brings to the table.
Bush was also behind considerably in recent polls, and there is no way Trump would put his record on the line for a candidate that far behind.
In the most recent polling, Ken Paxton is ahead of Bush by about eight points, so I would expect the Trump endorsement to give him a bit of a boost to increase that lead heading into the primary.
If Paxton wins, it will be very interesting to see if Bush throws his support behind Paxton due to the allegations Bush has made against Paxton regarding his integrity and legal problems.
If he sits on the sidelines, Paxton could have a much tougher race in the general election than he did in 2018, where he won by only 295,000 votes.