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In Texas AG Race, George P. Bush Criticizes Ken Paxton's Character, Handling Of Abortion Law

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - After serving two terms as Texas Land Commissioner, Republican George P. Bush wants to become the state's top prosecutor.

"I'm running for Attorney General because Texans deserve better than what they've got," said Bush.

Incumbent Ken Paxton still faces state fraud charges from before he became Attorney General, and is reportedly under FBI investigation after his top lieutenants last year accused him of bribery among other things.

Paxton has repeatedly denied any wrong-doing.

But during an interview in Dallas Wednesday, Bush said he worries if Paxton becomes the Republican nominee, he'll be indicted and become vulnerable.

"Ken Paxton will lose in the general election against the Democrat. That's the bottom line. Our top lawyer needs to be above reproach. There shouldn't even be a question of one's character and competence for this important role."

Bush's comments come amid a crowded race for Attorney General that may still grow larger.

Aside from Paxton and Bush, two other Republicans have announced they are running as well: former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and State Representative Matt Krause of Fort Worth.

Three Democrats have said they are running for Attorney General: Civil Rights Attorney Lee Merritt of Dallas, former Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski, and former ACLU Attorney Rochelle Garza.

Three recent Texas polls show Bush is far behind Paxton, and he didn't receive the sought-after endorsement from former President Donald Trump.

Paxton did.

Bush downplayed his poll numbers and said Paxton's standing in the polls is soft.

On Tuesday, conservative East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert announced he may enter the primary.

In response Bush said, "This is about a building narrative and building momentum that's occurring in the grassroots of the Republican Party of Texas desiring to hit the reset button."

In response, Paxton's campaign issued a statement that read in part, "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."

Bush said he is a consistent, constitutional conservative.

He said his top priorities are restoring integrity to the Attorney General's office, securing the border, and fighting human trafficking.

Bush had a lot to say about the Texas Heartbeat Act, which went before the U.S. Supreme Court and he criticized how Paxton handled it. "We're about to lose the abortion case."

Under the Texas law, doctors can't perform abortions after cardiac activity is detected.

That can happen as early as six weeks, when many women don't realize they're pregnant.

Bush criticized how the state's abortion law is enforced - through civil lawsuits filed by private citizens instead of government entities.

"So what I would have done differently is to work on the mechanism by which there is enforceability under the Texas Heartbeat Act."

When asked if that means he would not have suggested to the authors of the bill that they pursue enforcement through civil lawsuits when drafting the legislation Bush said, "Absolutely, and I think the role of the Attorney General is drafting legal opinions to clarify the law."

He said he believes life begins at conception and that he will fight for that.

Bush also said he fully supports the state's new elections integrity law and Governor Greg Abbott's executive order banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

He said he and his campaign are planning a tour of the Texas border later this month.



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