In most statewide election cycles, the typical focus is going to be on some key races… the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and state legislature. The first two because they are the highest elected officials in the state, and the legislature because they are the ones who represent constituents at capitol, and those who make the laws.
But in Texas, there is another race that sometimes matters more than any of these others, especially for citizens that have to deal with a court of law. Once elected, the Attorney General set important and far-ranging legal procedures that have a huge effect across the state. It’s an Attorney General that chooses how and to what extent that punishment for law breakers (or convicted of being a law breaker) will be pursued. Will the person caught with an ounce of hash have to pay a fine not unlike that associated with a traffic ticket, or will that ounce mean that they have to lose their job, their home, and completely change the trajectory of their life after serving a prison sentence? More often than not, these life-altering decisions are made by attorneys, and the Attorney General is the most powerful amongst that group.
For all of those listed reasons, it is imperative that Texans know their candidates for the state’s highest legal official. But as Democratic candidate for Attorney General Sam Houston points out, it’s been quite difficult to locate his Republican opponent Ken Paxton in 2014. Here’s more from Lauren McGaughy of the Houston Chronicle…
Democratic candidate for attorney general Sam Houston wants his opponent, state Sen. Ken Paxton, to agree to a debate ahead of the November general election.
Houston is expected to issue the challenge Wednesday at a news conference in Austin, demanding his Republican opponent “quit hiding from the media and the voters,” spokeswoman Sue Davis confirmed.
“To me, this is fair. He’s either going to debate me or explain to somebody why he hasn’t,” Houston said Friday. “How is this guy going to be attorney general if he won’t even address the issues?”
Houston contends his opponent hasn’t made a public appearance in months, ever since Paxton admitted to repeatedly soliciting investment clients over the last decade – a service for which he pocketed up to a 30 percent in commission – without being properly registered with the state as an investment adviser representative.
Paxton’s campaign called Houston’s demand for a debate “desperate”. But what is so desperate about wanting Texans to know your views on particular issues? Just like Greg Abbott last week, Ken Paxton’s excuse to avoid a debate sounds like it’s motivated purely out of fear that if Texans learn the truth about him and his views, they won’t agree.
The art of debate and argument is critical to being a lawyer. If Ken Paxton can’t agree to one debate, then he doesn’t deserve to be the state’s top lawyer. Let’s hope the Sam Houston campaign and Texas Democrats keep up the pressure.