Texas AG who dodged impeachment hits House Republicans who wanted him gone

Austin, Texas— Texas attorney general who survived a historic impeachment trial last year made a Super Tuesday primary a furious Republican-on-Republican war, targeting the House speaker and scores of other members who wanted him gone.

Attorney General Ken Paxton, who was on the brink of expulsion six months earlier, campaigned to beat his own party's political adversaries in a test of his and his largest backer, former president Donald Trump.

The attorney general swiftly launched strong, bare-knuckle campaign efforts to remove GOP-dominated House Republicans who supported impeachment after Paxton narrowly escaped corruption and abuse of office allegations.

Speaker Dade Phelan, who led the attempt, and more than 30 Republican House colleagues who voted against the attorney general on corruption and abuse of office claims were Paxton's primary targets. Not on the Super Tuesday ballot was Paxton. His third term came in 2022. His attempt to remove the House leadership was seen as a rightward shift in a conservative chamber.

Phelan served two terms as House leader. He ran personal commercials against Paxton, reminding voters of the corruption and abuse of office claims that led to the impeachment trial. Additional ads reminded voters of Paxton's affair.

In addition to Trump supporting his supported candidates, Paxton's extensive political revenge campaign attracted millions of dollars from third-party entities. Paxton has legal concerns. He will face felony securities fraud accusations in April that could send him in prison for 90 years. Several of his impeachment claims are being investigation by the federal government.

Other Republicans attacked each other in Tuesday's primary besides Paxton. Greg Abbott has targeted nearly two dozen incumbents who opposed his plan to spend public money on private schools, putting some lawmakers in his crosshairs for removal.

Paxton also sought to remove three female Court of Criminal Appeals justices. They voted 8-1 to strip Paxton of the power to prosecute voter fraud without local prosecutors' consent. After the court majority determined the law violated the state Constitution's separation of powers, Paxton called them “activist” judges.

Paxton targeted Judge Barbara Hervey, elected in 2001, and Presiding Judge Sharon Keller, elected in 1994. In 2018, Judge Michelle Slaughter was elected third.

stay turned for development