As expected, former Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman (R) filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission indicating she would challenge Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) in the Republican primary. She joins Land Comm. George P. Bush (R), who previously announced his campaign.

Guzman was appointed to the high court in 2009 by then-Gov. Rick Perry (R). She was the first Hispanic/Latina woman elected statewide when she won a full term in 2010. In 2016, Guzman became the highest vote-getter in state history in both the Republican primary (1.27M votes) and the general election (4.9M votes). Both of those records have since been broken.

Guzman enters the race at a significant financial disadvantage. Paxton ended 2020 with $5.6M on hand, which was a little more than three times the $1.8M on hand reported by Bush. Guzman ended the year with just $133K in the bank. Her only campaign finance advantage is a brief head start she gets over the two sitting officeholders. Since she resigned from the Supreme Court, she is no longer constrained by stricter judicial fundraising requirements or campaign contribution moratoriums. Paxton and Bush cannot raise money until June 20.

Given the campaign finance reporting schedule, Guzman’s entry into the race in June means she will disclose early contributions to her campaign in a month. making that report an early indicator of her potential strength.

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