|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
|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.
Paxton won election as attorney general in 2014 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, 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 with his wife, Angela, who is also his political advisor, in McKinney in Collin County.
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 is scheduled to begin on December 11, 2017, coincidentally the last day that he can file as a candidate for re-nomination in the Republican primary scheduled for March 6, 2018. If convicted, he could face huge fines and 99 years imprisonment. There is speculation, however, that the trial won't begin until 2018 because Hurricane Harvey caused havoc in courtroom assignments in Houston.
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.
Paxton 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.
Mrs. Paxton has announced her candidacy for the Texas State Senate District 8 seat being vacated by Republican Van Taylor of Plano, who is instead running in 2018 for Texas' 3rd congressional district seat in United States House of Representatives. The U.S. House seat opened with the pending retirement of long-term Republican incumbent Sam Johnson.
- 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.
- Angela Paxton, Texas attorney general's wife, running for state Senate. The Texas Tribune (September 6, 2017). Retrieved on October 7, 2017.