Mr. Paxton, a former state representative who cultivated the Republican Party’s conservative base, was first elected Attorney General in 2014. He vowed to fight the Affordable Care Act and uphold the Texas Voter Identification Act. .
But he spent nearly all of his time as Attorney General haunted by misconduct allegations, including a criminal charge for securities fraud since 2015. The allegations stem from allegations that Mr. Paxton did not register as an investment adviser representative and misled investors by encouraging them to invest in a company, but not by telling them that he would be paid by the company. The case has yet to be tried.
Last year, many of Mr. Paxton’s leading aides, themselves staunch conservatives, turned into whistleblowers and charged him with bribery, abuse of power, and other potential criminal acts in connection with an Austin real estate investor. Those allegations leveled at the FBI sparked a federal investigation that still looms over Mr. Paxton’s head. He denied wrongdoing in both cases.
Even so, Mr. Paxton won the Republican primary last month, easily defeating the land commissioner, George P. Bush, member of the political dynasty. He did it in part by correctly interpreting Texas politics, which was his great talent.
Mr. Paxton joined Trump in an effort to overturn the 2020 election results, going so far as to sue states where Trump lost to fraud. Mr. Paxton appeared with Mr. Trump in Washington on January 6, 2021, in a rally that attracted thousands of people, some of whom stormed the United States Capitol. Mr. Trump endorsed Mr. Paxton last year, helping him get over his scandals and through the Republican primary.
Mr. Paxton echoed the former president in another way: by attacking tech companies. In 2020, Mr. Paxton’s office, along with nine other states, filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. The lawsuit alleged that the internet giant had abused its control over the opaque system that delivers online ads.
After the January 6 riot, Mr. Paxton sent investigative requests not only to Twitter, but also to Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, asking for details about his content moderation practices.