New PAC formed to boot embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton out of office in 2022

click to enlarge Top officials in Texas AG Ken Paxton's office have accused him of taking bribes and abusing his office. - Courtesy Photo / Ken Paxton
Courtesy Photo / Ken Paxton
Top officials in Texas AG Ken Paxton's office have accused him of taking bribes and abusing his office.
A new Political Action Committee formed by Beto O'Rourke's former statewide field director will raise money to help Democratic candidates beat embattled Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in 2022.

While Dems haven't won a statewide election in Texas since 1994, political observers view the scandal-mired Paxton as a vulnerable target.

The Republican AG faces a years-old indictment for securities fraud, and he was subpoenaed in an FBI probe after his own top aides accused him of bribery and abuse of office. What's more, legal experts heaped ridicule on his failed attempt to have the U.S. Supreme Court hear a case to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the November presidential election.

"We think Ken Paxton is a particularly noxious public official, and we're committed to sending him packing by whatever means we can," said Zack Malitz, treasurer of Boot Texas Republicans PAC.

In addition to his time with O'Rourke's near-miss attempt to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Malitz worked on Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign. In July, Malitz also formed the Beat Abbott PAC, which will aid Democrats as they highlight Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's failures in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

Malitz said the PACs will help build campaign infrastructure, buy ads and develop fundraising for whichever Democratic candidates emerge as frontrunners to challenge Abbott and Paxton in 2022.

"We know candidates such as Abbott and Paxton have significant war chests and billionaire backers, so this gives us a two-year head start building infrastructure to challenge them," he said.

While any Democrats face long odds running for statewide office in Texas, Paxton barely squeaked out his last reelection bid — and that was before the current FBI investigation. The Republican AG pulled in just 50.6% of the vote in 2018, compared to his Democratic challenger's 47%.

Political observers have speculated that Paxton's biggest threat will be from another Republican primary challenger eager to remove his stain on the party. If that's the case, Malitz said the PAC will use its funds to support whichever Democratic candidate runs against the new GOP contender.

"Whatever gets Ken Paxton out of office, we're all for," he said.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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