President Donald Trump on Monday threw his support behind sitting Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, who is being challenged in a primary by George P. Bush, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
“Ken has my Complete and Total Endorsement for another term as Attorney General of Texas. He is a true Texan who will keep Texas safe — and will never let you down!” Trump said in a statement.
The endorsement could be a boon for Paxton as Trump continues to enjoy support in the Republican Party. However, Bush, whose family has roots in the state and the Republican party, had been angling for Trump’s backing. Bush’s entry into the race will make it one of the most anticipated, and analyzed, state-level races of the cycle.
Paxton is one of the most pro-Trump state officials in the country. He filed a lawsuit, which the Supreme Court declined to hear, challenging Trump’s loss in 2020.
Bush appears to be betting that Paxton’s mounting legal woes may have political consequences with voters. Paxton is facing trial for securities fraud as well as allegations he abused his office, charges that have prompted Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, to call on him to resign.
Bush has been attempting to win Trump’s endorsement despite the past public spats with his family, and Trump has responded warmly. Bush has tweeted about his support for Trump and his campaign distributed can coolers (koozies) quoting Trump saying, “This is the only Bush that likes me. This is the Bush that got it right. I like him.”
However, during the 2016 campaign, Trump retweeted an attack on Bush’s mother. Also, former President George W. Bush criticized Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack and Trump, in turn, attacked Bush.