|Warren Kenneth "Ken" Paxton, Jr.|
51st Attorney General of Texas
|Assumed office |
January 5, 2015
|Preceded by||Greg Abbott|
Texas State Senator
for District 8 (Collin County)
January 2013 – January 4, 2015
|Preceded by||Florence Shapiro|
|Succeeded by||Van Taylor|
Texas State Representative for
District 70 (Collin County)
January 2003 – January 2013
|Preceded by||David Counts|
|Succeeded by||Scott Sanford|
|Born|| December 23, 1962|
Minot, North Dakota, USA
|Children||Tucker, Abby, Mattie, and Katie Paxton|
|Alma mater|| Baylor University|
University of Virginia School of Law
Warren Kenneth Paxton, Jr., known as Ken Paxton (born December 23, 1962), is an American lawyer and politician who has been since January 2015 the Republican attorney general of his adopted state of Texas. He was born in Minot, North Dakota, to a military family that lived at times in five states. He graduated from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In 2014, Paxton won election as attorney general with support from conservatives and the Tea Party Movement. In the Republican primary, he defeated state Representative Dan H. Branch of Dallas, a director of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University, named for John Tower, Texas first popularly-elected Republican senator, who began his career as a staunch conservative but is now considered an icon of Moderate Republicans.
Before he became attorney general, Paxton previously served for ten years in the Texas House of Representatives and two years in the Texas Senate, representing Collin County, north of Dallas. He resides in McKinney in Collin County with his wife, Angela Paxton, whom he met at Baylor and who is also his political advisor.
During much of his tenure as attorney general, Paxton has been sidetracked by personal legal matters. He faces a fraud trial in Houston in December 2017 for having allegedly failed to inform those investing in the technology firm Servergy that he was receiving a commission on sales. At the time, Paxton was still a member of the Texas House of Representatives. The case will be presided over by a Democratic judge, Robert Johnson. Meanwhile, a Security and Exchange Commission complaint against Paxton has been twice dismissed, most recently in March 2017, on the grounds that the attorney general had "no plausible legal duty" to inform investors that he would earn a commission if they purchased stock in a technical company that Paxton represented.
As attorney general, Paxton has fought to keep alive from federal court challenges the state laws requiring voter identification, the abolition of sanctuary cities, religious freedom, and the current congressional districting plan, which Democrats claim is skewed in favor of Republicans.
Paxton's trial was scheduled to have begun on December 11, 2017, coincidentally the last day that he could file as a candidate for re-nomination in the Republican primary on March 6, 2018. If convicted, he could face huge fines and 99 years imprisonment. However, the trial has yet to begin.
Paxton also faces an expanded probe by the state into his $546,700 defense fund, contributions of which have come mainly from family friends. The state has not reveal what it has found in this probe.
In 2017, Paxton came to Laredo to investigate city and county efforts toward border security. He indicated that he was impressed by the coordination among law enforcement agencies" "So often you see turf battle among different law enforcement groups ... and it seems like here the state is very engaged ... but so are all the local officials and the federal officials. So the cooperation is about as good as I've ever seen."
Paxton was unopposed in the Republican primary held on March 6, 2018. He received 1,312,135 votes. In the November 6 general election, he faces Justin Nelson, who garnered 884,376 votes running unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Paxton won the Republican nomination for the state Senate District 8 seat being vacated by Republican Van Taylor of Plano, who is instead the GOP nominee for Texas' 3rd congressional district seat in the United States House of Representatives; that seat is held by the retiring long-term Republican, Sam Johnson.Angela Paxton received 32,653 votes (54.4 percent); her intra-party opponent, Phillip Huffines, 27,421 (45.6 percentIn the general election she faces the Democrat Mark Phariss while her husband runs for re-election against Justin Nelson. Phariss won his party nomination over Bryan Chaput, 51-49 percent.
- Cindy George and Andrea Zelinski (July 27, 2017). Texas AG Paxton to stand trial in December, judge rules. The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved on October 1, 2017.
- Andrea Zelinski, "Paxton's SEC charge dismissed: No 'legal duty' to disclose commission," San Antonio Express-News, March 3, 2017, p. A3.
- Andrea Zelinski, "Prosecutors' AG probe expands: Paxton's legal defense fund under scrutiny, federal judge is told," San Antonio Express-News, October 6, 2017, pp. A3-A4.
- Julia Wallace (September 28, 2017). Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton visits Laredo for first time since taking office. Laredo Morning Times. Retrieved on February 16, 2018.
- Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (March 6, 2018). Retrieved on March 7, 2018.
- Angela Paxton, Texas attorney general's wife, running for state Senate. The Texas Tribune (September 6, 2017). Retrieved on October 7, 2017.