DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - State Representative Matt Krause of Fort Worth said he jumped into the Republican primary for Texas Attorney General in September after looking at the field at the time: Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman. "It comes back to that being that faithful conservative fighter."
Late last week, conservative E. Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert announced he may also jump in.
Krause said he's among those concerned that Paxton could be indicted as a result of a reported FBI investigation into allegations of bribery made by his former top lieutenants.
"Sure, there's a lot of things the incumbent can point to fighting against the Biden Administration, but there's just too much baggage, too much compromised decision-making, that really hurts our chances to win in November. That's why we cannot have him as our nominee."
When asked what his biggest concern is if Paxton wins the Republican nomination, Krause replied, "That we would have a Democrat Attorney General after next November."
Three Democrats have said they are running for Attorney General: Civil Rights Attorney Lee Merritt, former ACLU Staff Attorney Rochelle Garza, and former Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski.
Paxton still faces a trial on state fraud charges that stem from before he became the Attorney General.
He pleaded not guilty to those charges and has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing while serving as the state's top prosecutor.
Paxton's campaign didn't respond to a text message seeking comment Tuesday, but recently said in a statement, "Attorney General Ken Paxton is a constitutional conservative who is actively involved in 20 lawsuits with the Biden Administration and has won important victories to protect the constitutional rights of every Texan."
Paxton previously received the endorsement from former President Donald Trump.
The two-term incumbent maintains his lead in recent Republican primary polls.
Krause recently made national headlines.
While serving as Chair of the House General Investigating Committee, he sent a letter to the Texas Education Agency and school districts across the state to see if they had any of the books on a list of 850 titles.
Krause received criticism that it was a publicity stunt.
"Yeah, I kind of laughed, because, again, this was never supposed to be made public. When we sent that letter out. I thought, I would never be able to talk about it."
He said unlike most other state legislative committees, he and others can't comment on pending investigations.
"I can't go into the details. But what I can say now that that letter has been put out in the public domain, is we're seeing incidences all across the state where there's inappropriate material."
Krause said he supports a ban on COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and that he agreed with the state's argument before the U.S. Supreme Court defending the Texas Heartbeat Act and its use of civil lawsuits to enforce it.
"I do think there is some discussion whether the enforcement mechanism is a proper one. But I think it's always good when the state of Texas can go to Washington, DC, and stand for the proposition that every life matters."
Krause said he agrees with Republican grass roots voters who say they want an Attorney General who will fight back against the Biden administration.
"We have to have an Attorney General who's willing to fight against an over-reaching federal government, we have to have an Attorney General who's willing to fight against even local governments that may be stepping out of line. There could even potentially be a time or two where the state government needs to be reined in as well."
The primary will be held March 1, 2022.
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