Paxton, who has faced multiple legal issues that include an investigation by the FBI for alleged abuse of office, was first elected as the state’s attorney general in 2015. He is also under investigation on state security fraud charges that stem from before he took office in 2015. He has pleaded “not guilty” to all charges. Paxton previously served as a state senator for the 8th District and a representative for the 70th District in the Texas House.
During his tenure, Paxton’s primary focus has been challenging President Joe Biden’s immigration policies in an effort to quell the surge of noncitizens coming across the border. As Gov. Greg Abbott’s chief law enforcement officer, Paxton has launched more lawsuits against the Biden administration than any other state. Texas and the U.S. government are named in more than 30 lawsuits ranging from abortion and transgender policies to Google’s biometric data collection and border security.
Former American Civil Liberties Union attorney Garza, Paxton’s challenger, centered her campaign on abortion and a woman’s right to choose. Garza has represented teenagers who were seeking abortion care and came out strongly in favor of access to abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade over the summer. The ruling gave Garza a boost in support after Paxton and Abbott filed multiple lawsuits that sought to outlaw the procedure in the state.
A poll by the University of Texas at Tyler placed immigration/border security and the economy as the two highest issues for Texas voters. Garza has been accused by Paxton as being in favor of “open borders” but has denied the accusation, claiming that border issues are the responsibility of the federal government, and vowed to hold them accountable.
“As Attorney General, I will hold the federal government accountable if they fail to enact an orderly immigration process because that is what they need to do. The burden shouldn’t be on our border communities,” Garza said.