Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will seek re-election as he fights three criminal indictments that are expected to go to trial next year.
Paxton, who was expected to run again despite his legal woes, made it official in an email to his supporters Wednesday.
“Without a doubt, it’s been my greatest honor to serve the people of Texas as your Attorney General,” wrote Paxton, a Republican. “Much has been accomplished since I took office three years ago, but there’s much more to be done.”
About six months into the job as the state’s top lawyer, Paxton was indicted on three counts of violating state securities laws. He’s accused of duping two men, including outgoing Corsicana Republican Rep. Byron Cook, into investing in a failing North Texas technology company and of failing to register with the state while acting as an investment adviser representative.
The more serious of the charges, the two first-degree felonies, carry a maximum sentence of 99 years in prison and tens of thousands in fines.
Paxton denies all the allegations, which he says are politically motivated, and has twice defeated similar charges lobbed against him by the federal government. He is scheduled to go on trial for the lesser of the three charges sometime next year.
The Republican primary election will take place in March. Paxton has not drawn a challenger.
Paxton is also being investigated for accepting a $100,000 gift from a man who settled a multi-million dollar Medicaid fraud case with the state. That bribery probe is expected to wrap up soon.
See here and here for more on the bribery investigation, which may turn out to be nothing, or may turn into a raging inferno that consumes him. No one has announced a candidacy on the Democratic side yet, though I know some people have been sniffing around this, and I fully expect someone will step forward. And who knows? Independent of any considerations about the prevailing political atmosphere in 2018, whoever that is may just get lucky.