From the Texas Newsroom:
But Paxton’s most die-hard supporters in Collin County, where he rose to prominence in Texas politics, see his impeachment as an unfair political move by a GOP-led House they claim don’t represent conservative Republican values.
Now, they’re focusing their attention on Republican senators who will decide Paxton’s fate.
“We are expecting the Senate to have a much cleaner, thought-out process,” said Abraham George, the chairman of the Collin County Republican Party. “We don’t believe the House did that.”
Collin County, just north of Democratic-leaning Dallas, is home to 1.1 million Texans and has consistently voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1968.
Now, Paxton has become a polarizing figure that has showcased a divide in the Republican Party.
It’s likely some GOP senators will vote for conviction, in part because of the thousands of pages of evidence released by House impeachment managers in the days ahead of the trial.
But Paxton still has allies on his home turf, with many local GOP officials standing by him amid the accusations. On Saturday, the Collin County GOP will host a Labor Day picnic in Plano in which Paxton is scheduled to appear alongside County Judge Chris Hill, Sheriff Jim Skinner, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and Congressman Keith Self.
“People feel like it was a rushed process and, because of that, it really leaves major questions in people’s minds,” said John Myers, vice chair of the Collin County GOP. “Why is this taking place now? What are the underlying reasons? Is there, perhaps, some sinister plot behind getting rid of the attorney general?”
The 20 articles of impeachment approved by the Texas House in May contain accusations including constitutional bribery, abuse of official capacity and misuse of official information. Paxton has denied the allegations.
House impeachment managers have accused Paxton of illegal acts in order to shield an Austin businessman and Paxton campaign donor named Nate Paul from an FBI investigation.
“Should that be ignored? Well, no,” Myers said. “The voters knew about that, there were no new charges. And despite all the innuendos and all of the charges against the attorney general the people chose to reelect him.”
But David Lethe, a GOP precinct chair in Plano, said he didn’t know about all the charges against Paxton.