Fiery Debate Among 3 Republicans Who Want To Unseat Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The three Republicans challenging Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the GOP primary took the stage for a debate in Austin Thursday night, Feb. 24.

Paxton, who is leading in all the polls, declined to attend.

His three challengers, George P. Bush, Louie Gohmert, and Eva Guzman, all targeted him.

And Bush and Guzman also went after each other too, as they each try to force Paxton into a runoff.

George P. Bush, the Texas Land Commissioner and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman exchange political punches, accusing each other of lying about their records in TV ads and in campaign flyers mailed to voters.

“Texans are tired of gutter politicians and she’s running millions of dollars in attack ads maligning my record. She knows better. ”Bush said.

“George, you’re lying again and you know that no one is more motivated to secure the border than me,” Guzman responded.

But they also set their sights on incumbent Ken Paxton, the two-term incumbent, backed by former President Donald Trump.

“He continues to evade grassroots conservatives and not show up to any debates. This is our tenth debate together, ”said Bush. Ken, I know you’re watching, you’re sitting there on your couch. When are you going to come out of the shadows and stop your Joe Biden-style campaign? ”

East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert criticized Paxton’s record and legal troubles.

“For the first seven years, he was not nearly as active as he’s gotten since. He is under investigation by the FBI and is looking to go to trial as a criminal defendant out of bond, ”said Gohmert.

Texas Attorney General GOP Primary Debate (credit: Spectrum News)

Paxton’s former top lieutenants in the Attorney General’s office reportedly went to the FBI after making bribery accusations against him.

Paxton has denied any wrongdoing, and he pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial on unrelated state fraud charges.

“We know that Ken Paxton lost the Obamacare case on a technicality. Standing. We know he lost the Keystone Pipeline case on another technicality, ”said Guzman.

TCU political science professor Jim Riddlesperger says he believes Paxton may not have attended because he is relying on former President Trump’s support and being the incumbent.

“And I do not think he thinks his cause would be helped by participating in a debate that would serve to raise the profile of the people running against,” Riddlesperger said.

CBS 11 reached out to the Paxton campaign for a response to the debate and received this statement:

“All this debate did was solidify that Attorney General Paxton is the most qualified for the job defending Texans from the Biden Administration’s liberal and radical agenda.”

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