Immigration top of mind as Texas gears up for Attorney General race


Texas Attorney General and Republican incumbent, Ken Paxton has found himself locked into a tight race with Democratic challenger, Rochelle Garza. A November win for Paxton would launch him into his third term as Texas Attorney General, but a string of legal troubles may have the Paxton camp anxious, as these issues have become the major feature of the incumbent’s campaign. Lucky for Paxton, there may be larger issues with just enough power to overshadow his personal and professional legal woes. At the top of that list is immigration, a topic that has consistently stirred discourse across the United States, and has been a particularly divisive issue across the historically conservative border state of Texas.

But recent voter polls and surveys show that Paxton is fairing well with many conservative Texas voters. This is mostly due to his long history of hard-right actions meant to create a closed-border and his backing of policies that have potential to drastically limit legal immigration. In recent surveys, voters cited his track record of suing Democratic presidential administrations for their immigration policy, on behalf of Texas, as one of the main reasons they plan to vote for him. The Paxton camp is leveraging this insight, messaging to their constituents with attack ads that accuse challenger, Rochelle Garza, of being in favor of open borders and rejecting any immigration enforcement at all.

Though the race is closer than expected, the November 8th election is still being considered an uphill battle for Garza, as the award for name recognition clearly goes to Paxton, who has recently been front and center in high-profile lawsuits. Paxton’s recent wins for his constituents include the 11 immigration related lawsuits filed against the federal government since President Biden took office, Greg Abbott’s immigrant bussing, and the state’s recent abortion ban.