“I love working for the people of Texas, and when you see a need, you step up,” Guzman told The Texan. “So I am stepping up to be an attorney general who’s committed to Texas, who will serve with honor and integrity, who has the experience — on day one — to walk in and sue the Biden administration, if that’s what’s necessary.”
Shortly after her announcement, the Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR) PAC announced their support of Guzman in the race contested by two other high-profile Republicans: current Attorney General Ken Paxton and Land Commissioner George P. Bush.
“Justice Guzman has the breadth of legal experience and the personal and professional integrity that we must require of our state’s highest legal officer,” said Richard Trabulsi Jr., the chairman of the PAC. “TLRPAC is proud to support her candidacy for Texas Attorney General.”
“I’m very proud to have their support,” said Guzman. “I think it speaks volumes about my reputation as someone who is faithful to the Constitution, faithful to statutory text, and who respects the three branches of government and the separation.”
Guzman said that TLR looks for judges who don’t “legislate from the bench” but rather “follow the rule of law,” and that she thinks they want a similar person as attorney general: “an attorney general that will serve with honor, with integrity; an attorney general who has experience; an attorney general who will respect the Constitution and fight to uphold it.”
The endorsement is notable not only because of the fundraising boon that will likely come with it — the group reported $5.7 million cash-on-hand in its most recent report — but also because TLR previously endorsed Paxton and Bush for the statewide positions they currently hold.
Throughout the 2018 election cycle, when the position of attorney general was last on the ballot, TLR contributed $345,000 to Paxton, who ran unopposed in the primary.
Asked what separates her from Paxton and Bush, Guzman said that “Texans deserve more than an amateur lawyer.”
“They deserve someone that knows how to practice law,” said Guzman. “I’ve been on the district court, on the Court of Appeals, and on the Texas Supreme Court. I debated and decided the most complex legal issues of the state.”
She said that “the attorney general needs to be ready to protect the constitutional rights of every Texan,” and listed several issues that are important to her, including “the oil and gas industry, immigration, election integrity, and protecting our police.”
With her husband being a retired officer from the Houston Police Department, the last issue is most personal to her.
“I know firsthand the sacrifices police officers make,” said Guzman. “I know firsthand that they will be ready to protect and defend, no matter what’s said about them.”
“And I know what police officer families sacrifice. I know what it’s like to go to bed at night and wonder if your loved one is coming home. I know what it’s like to turn to prayer, to find that support, because you’re worried about your loved one on these dangerous streets.”
Guzman also said that she has “lived a life committed to upholding the Constitution” and “earned a reputation as being a judge that has the highest standards of ethics, honor, integrity.”
Ethics and integrity are themes that have also been emphasized by Bush, who has so far in the race been more openly critical about Paxton amidst his ongoing accusations of abuse of office.
With three Republicans who have all been elected to a statewide position, the race for attorney general in 2022 is sure to be among the most competitive.
Though the primary election is currently anticipated for March of next year, it could be pushed back depending on how the state legislature handles the redistricting delays.
The first of the campaign finance reports with the three high-profile candidates in the race cover from January through the end of June and are due on July 15.
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Daniel Friend is the Marketing and Media Manager for The Texan. After graduating with a double-major in Political Science and Humanities, he wrote for The Texan as a reporter through June 2022. In his spare time, you're likely to find him working on The Testimony of Calvin Lewis, an Abolition of Man-inspired novel and theatrical podcast.