It looks like the Texas Attorney General race will be a close one. According to a new UT Tyler poll, Republican incumbent Ken Paxton is leading his opponent, Rochelle Garza, by only two percentage points. This could be huge for Democrats; the poll surveyed more than 1,384 registered Texas voters.
Democrat Rochelle Garza, who is a former federal prosecutor, has been endorsed by several high-profile Democrats, including former Texas congressman and current gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke. She's also garnered support from some republicans, like George W. Bush's former ethics lawyer, Richard Painter.
Garza is a civil rights lawyer who has experience fighting for the rights of immigrants and minorities. She is hoping to make history as the first Latina to be elected to statewide office in Texas. Garza has been endorsed by numerous major organizations, including the Texas Democratic Party, Planned Parenthood, and the Human Rights Campaign. Despite being out raised and outspent by her opponent, Garza remains optimistic about her chances on election day. "I think people are ready for a change," she said in an interview with The Houston Chronicle. "They're ready for someone who's going to fight for them."
Paxton has maintained his position for years despite controversy.
Paxton has been under fire for his involvement in several scandals, including his indictment on securities fraud charges. The indictment says that in July 2011, Paxton persuaded two investors to buy more than $100,000 worth of now-defunct Servergy Inc. stock without telling them he was being paid by the company.
Servergy has since been accused of defrauding investors out of millions of dollars. Paxton faces up to 99 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge. A trial date has not been set.
The indictment has hung over Paxton's head for years, and he has been dogged by questions about whether he will have to step down if convicted.
For the immediate future, it seems, the race is on.
If Garza can win in November, it would be a considerable blow to Republicans in Texas. The state has been trending more purple in recent years; if Garza wins, it could signal that Texas is ready to fully turn blue.
Either way, the race for Texas Attorney General will be one to watch this fall. It could have big implications for the future of politics in the Lone Star State. Stay tuned!
What do you think, Texas?
Will Garza be able to pull off an upset?
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