President Donald Trump threw his support behind Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s re-election campaign, much to the chagrin of Republican challenger George P. Bush who believed he’d bagged the coveted endorsement.
On Monday, Trump released a statement touting Paxton’s allegiance to the US Constitution and his record on border security, the Second Amendment and election integrity.
“It is going to take a PATRIOT like Ken Paxton to advance America First policies in order to Make America Great Again,” Trump wrote about the incumbent seeking a third term. “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!” the president’s statement concluded.
In the days after the election was stolen in 2020, Paxton fought hard for Trump, going as far as to file a federal complaint with the US Supreme Court calling on the Justices to weigh in on the unlawful last-minute changes in voting rules that he said disenfranchised Texas voters.
Meanwhile, the endorsement likely came as a surprise to George P. Bush, Paxton’s opponent and son of longtime Trump nemesis Jeb.
As early as last June, Bush was vying for Trump’s support and even attempting to win over Trump voters in Texas with pro-Trump merchandise.
“The fact is that in 2016 I was one of the first statewide election officials to come out and support him. I raised a million and a half in support of Republican candidates with him at the top of the ticket,” Bush said on Fox News Primetime last month.
“Trump is the centre of the Republican party. I’m my own man. I support him. And we need to carry on that legacy, capture the lightning that he brought to the Republican party so that we can help all of our fellow Republicans down-ballot.”
Mediaite notes the former Texas land commissioner also displayed “fealty” to Trump by putting out campaign merch with a quote saying George P. was the only “Bush” that liked Trump.