On the importance of the Democratic AG runoff

We have two good choices in this race. Whoever wins, we need to fully support them in November.

Rochelle Garza

Rochelle Garza locked hands with her mother and marched through Dallas at a reproductive rights rally this month to let voters know she could lead the fight for abortion care.

“Our mothers fought before and won. Now, it’s our turn to continue the fight and win for OUR daughters and everyone’s access to abortion care,” Garza wrote to her base on Twitter after the rally.

Reproductive care has always been central to Garza’s campaign as she vies to be the Democratic nominee for the Texas attorney general race in November. But with the recent leak of a U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion suggesting that the constitutional protection on abortion established in Roe v. Wade might soon come to an end, both Garza and Joe Jaworski, her opponent for the Democratic nomination in a May 24 primary runoff, are pitching themselves as the last line of defense for access to reproductive care in Texas.

“Really the last stand for reproductive rights are the attorney general of each state,” Garza told The Texas Tribune in an interview. “So now more than ever, having an attorney general in the state of Texas is going to be critical to protecting reproductive rights.”

Garza is a former American Civil Liberties Union lawyer from Brownsville. Jaworski is the former mayor of Galveston. Early voting began Monday and ends Friday.

The winner will face the victor of the Republican primary runoff in the general election — either Ken Paxton, the incumbent attorney general, or Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. Paxton is the frontrunner in that race, clinching twice as many votes as Bush in the primaries and the support of former President Donald Trump.


Joe Jaworski

Although they have never faced off in the ballot, Garza and Paxton have been on opposite sides of an abortion case. Garza made a name for herself in 2017 when she sued the Trump administration, seeking access to an abortion for an undocumented teenager held in detention. After a federal appeals court ruled in Garza’s favor, Paxton filed a brief in response, arguing that immigrants have no constitutional right to abortion. Garza also testified in 2018 against the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, who ruled against the case as an appellate court judge.

The teen was able to obtain an abortion while the case was being litigated. The case was later dismissed after the federal government adopted a new policy under which it would not interfere with immigrant minors’ access to abortion.

“Having this nuanced understanding of what it takes to build a case like that and to fight for someone who the government believes is not powerful — that’s what I bring to this race and bring to this position,” Garza said.

Garza was nine weeks pregnant when the state’s controversial ban on abortions after about six weeks into a pregnancy went into effect in September. She was worried at the time about her limited reproductive health care options.

Garza, who balanced her newborn daughter in her arms as she spoke to the Tribune, is now arguing she’s the right choice to defend reproductive rights in the state.

She also stands a clear favorite among national and state abortion rights advocacy groups, garnering endorsements from EMILY’s List, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes and Avow.

Both Jaworski and Garza have stated they would defend reproductive rights as Texas’ next attorney general, who can play a major role in the fight over abortion law in courts. The state’s top lawyer also determines how an abortion ban can be regulated and enforced.

But Jaworski has presented himself as the most experienced candidate. While Garza’s run for attorney general will be her first political race, Jaworski is an established local politician. He served three terms on the Galveston City Council and one term as mayor.

And while Garza’s reproductive rights bona fides stand on her well-known 2017 case, Jaworski points to his experience as a trial attorney for over 31 years. Jaworski has said he would use federal and state court channels to initiate litigation to preserve reproductive rights under both the U.S. and the Texas constitutions.

We can’t go wrong with either of these two, so make your best choice and then support the winner. I will let Paxton’s own runoff opponent remind you of what’s at stake here:

Who am I to disagree with that assessment? Someone be sure to grab a screenshot of that tweet for future reference.

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2 Responses to On the importance of the Democratic AG runoff

  1. Kibitzer says:

    RE: [Fill in candidate name] is “a proven crook, a serial liar, and an adulterer”

    Let’s see:

    “A proven crook”.

    What constitutes proof that someone is a crook? Presumably a criminal conviction, so if the candidate has been charged/indicted, but hasn’t been convicted, wouldn’t that be a false accusation of a criminal conviction and consequently satisfy the definition of defamation per se? Calling someone a “crook” as a generic insult and attack on integrity may be protected opinion in the context of a political campaign, but to claim “proven” may be a different matter.

    And if the allegation of crookery is based on a fraud short of a crime that resulted in a civil judgment, shouldn’t voters be told the specifics, so they can judge for themselves how much weight to accord that black mark on the candidate’s record.

    “a serial lier”

    Who hasn’t told more than one lie? Especially politicians? As long as it wasn’t under oath – in which case the specifics should be furnished – it’s hardly remarkable.

    “an adulterer” or adulteress, to make it gender-inclusive

    Adultery is not a crime in Texas, though still a fault ground for divorce. Anyone involved in family law will also be aware that it’s a rather common occurrence, and that it can provide leverage to the wronged spouse in litigation and settlement bargaining. So, adultery is not irrelevant in that *private-law* context.

    Primary and general election voters may, of course, base their vote choice on moral judgments about the conduct of a candidate, including extramarital activities, but that still leaves the question of whether the allegation of misconduct [of adultery or other morally questionable conduct] did actually occur, and whether such information should be propagated publically and published and republished by the media. See –> right to privacy (about private affairs).

    At the minimum, it implicates the question of editorial standards and ethics.

  2. Flypusher says:

    Who hasn’t told more than one lie? Especially politicians? As long as it wasn’t under oath – in which case the specifics should be furnished – it’s hardly remarkable.

    Some politicians are clearly far more egregious in their lying. Claiming the 2020 election was stolen puts you into that top tier of liars.

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