This isn’t the first time Bush has indicated contemplation of such a run. Last year, after improper use of office allegations were levied at Paxton by members of his executive team, a spokesman for Bush said the land commissioner was “keep[ing] all options open.”
But Thursday’s radio spot was the first time the land commissioner himself acknowledged the possibility.
“There have been some serious allegations levied against the current Attorney General … that the FBI is currently investigating,” Bush told Davis.
He added, “Personally, I think that the top law enforcement official in Texas needs to be above reproach — needs to be a conservative advocate that pushes back on the Biden administration — and I’m seriously considering a run for attorney general.”
“[Paxton’s] been in public service for 20 years and I’m not sure another four years is going to bring Texans anything better,” he continued. “From my perch in Austin, I’ve seen a lot of high-quality attorneys leave that office.”
Bush later stated that many of those attorneys who left were distinguished for their conservative legal acumen, and said their departure concerns him.
Conservative attorneys general across the country with whom Bush said he spoke indicated to him their embarrassment about the turmoil within the Office of the Attorney General.
“We need a top cop that the law enforcement of our great state can confide in and trust in.”
Bush campaign spokesman Ash Wright provided the following statement to The Texan after the land commissioner’s radio appearance: “Texas has long led the nation in standing for conservative values. Commissioner Bush is concerned that right now, we’ve got an elected official in Austin who is plagued by ethical and integrity issues and is under an ongoing FBI investigation. Law and order must continue to stand in our state. As Commissioner Bush has repeatedly stated, he is considering a run for Attorney General.”
Paxton’s campaign responded to Bush’s statements, stating, “Attorney General Ken Paxton is focused on keeping the Texas border secure, holding the Biden Administration accountable, and taking on Big Tech.”
“It is unfortunate, but not surprising, to see a potential opponent more interested with the narrative being set by the liberal media than on the real and important issues facing Texas families and small businesses.”
About the potential campaign ahead, Bush told Davis, “This campaign would be less about conservative credentials — we’re all conservative, we all supported Donald Trump — it’s about how you run the office.”
“I think character matters and integrity matters,” he concluded.
Bush has served as the state land commissioner since 2015. He won re-election in 2018 by over 10 points and would be on the ballot again in 2022.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include comment from the Bush campaign.
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Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.