AUSTIN, Texas — Republican George P. Bush has forced a runoff against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who’s trying to hang onto his job while under the cloud of an FBI investigation.
Paxton was ahead Tuesday night as the top vote-getter in a crowded race but failed to capture the more than 50% of the vote needed to avoid a runoff.
Bush, 45, is the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and currently the Texas land commissioner. He’s the only member of his famous family still in public office.
Since taking office in 2015, Paxton has become one of the nation’s most prominent state attorneys general, leading lawsuits against Big Tech and trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election. But he has also spent those years dogged by a felony indictment on securities fraud charges and revelations that donors and allies have benefited from his office.
A bigger threat to his political future looms after several top deputies resigned in 2020 and reported Paxton to the FBI over accusations that he used his office to help a wealthy donor.
Paxton has broadly denied wrongdoing and called the accusations politically motivated.
The runoff is in May.
On the Democratic side of the ballot, Rochelle Garza had a sizeable lead, but appeared to be heading for a runoff with either Joe Jaworski or Lee Merritt.