President Donald Trump on Monday lent his support to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, who is challenged in a primary by George P. Bush, the son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
“Ken has my full and complete approval for another term as Texas Attorney General. He’s a true Texan who will keep Texas safe – and never let you down!” Trump said in a statement.
The approval could be a boon to Paxton as Trump continues to enjoy support from the Republican Party. However, Bush, whose family has roots in the state and the Republican Party, was seeking Trump’s support. Bush’s entry into the race will make it one of the most anticipated and analyzed state-level races of the cycle.
Paxton is one of the most pro-Trump state officials in the country. He filed a lawsuit, which the Supreme Court refused to hear, contesting Trump’s loss in 2020.
Bush seems to be betting that Paxton’s growing legal problems could have political consequences for voters. Paxton is facing a securities fraud trial as well as allegations that he abused his office, charges that prompted Representative Chip Roy, R-Texas, to call him to resign.
Bush tried to gain Trump’s approval despite past public feuds with his family, and Trump responded warmly. Bush tweeted about his support for Trump and his campaign handed out coolers (koozies) quoting Trump as saying, “He’s the only Bush who loves me.” The Bush is right. I love it.”
However, during the 2016 campaign, Trump retweeted an attack on Bush’s mother. In addition, former President George W. Bush criticized Trump in the wake of the January 6 attack, and Trump, in turn, attacked Bush.