Primary season in Texas is just around the corner: Early voting begins Feb. 20, 2024, for the March 5 election.
Monday marked the filing deadline for candidates, meaning the field is set for the upcoming election – and politicos are keeping an eye on what may likely be a drama-filled campaign season. Top Republicans like Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton are backing certain primary challengers running against incumbents in the Legislature.
“There’s a lot of races here that we’re talking about, you know, whether it’s Ken Paxton going after former allies like Jeff Leach in Plano, all the people who voted for his impeachment,” said Ayan Mittra, senior managing editor for the Texas Tribune. “Greg Abbott, he’s really going after some rural Republicans who voted against school vouchers, people like Hugh Shine. These are competitive races, and there are some veteran lawmakers here.”
Beyond that, Paxton allies are also taking aim at elected officials outside of the Legislature – specifically, the Court of Criminal Appeals.
“The state’s highest criminal court ruled in an 8-1 majority against Paxton in terms of being able to unilaterally prosecute voter fraud. So he must get permission from local prosecutors before that,” Mittra said. “So Paxton wasn’t happy with that ruling.”
For more stories from the week in Texas politics, listen to our interview in the audio player above.