Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) said he will seek re-election during an appearance on the Mark Davis show. He criticized Land Comm. George P. Bush’s (R) handling of the Alamo and Hurricane Harvey funds. Bush has indicated that he would challenge Paxton in the Republican primary.

Discussing his criminal securities fraud charges, Paxton said prosecutors must not have a strong case otherwise “it wouldn’t take six years” to litigate.

Meanwhile, those prosecutors once again asked a three-judge panel of the First Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments. The proceeding – officially a motion to reconsider moving the trial back to Collin Co. from Harris Co. – has been pending for seven months, and a previous request for oral arguments has been pending for three months. “Viewed against this backdrop” of repeated delays, “it is altogether reasonable for the panel to devote thirty minutes to discussing the novel issues that impact Texas jurisprudence in this matter at oral argument” (emphasis theirs). “Every question answered by the parties during argument is one less the Court will be called upon to answer in a motion for rehearing.”

A similar federal case against Paxton has been dismissed twice. He has maintained his innocence throughout the lengthy legal process following his July 2015 indictment. “This is all political,” Paxton said on Davis’s show this morning (Tuesday).

Watson Resigning: Former Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) is leaving his post as Founding Dean of the Univ. of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs at the end of the month. Watson resigned from the Senate in February 2020 to take the post, and Sen. Sarah Eckhardt (D-Austin) was elected after Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) withdrew from a special runoff election. Watson’s term, which Eckhardt is serving, expires in January 2023.

Watson’s campaign account had $1.3M on hand as of December 31. He raised $5.3M for an unsuccessful 2002 race for AG, which he lost to then-Supreme Court Justice Greg Abbott, 57%-41%. That said, the Texas Tribune’s Kate McGee reported that Watson is not leaving to run for office. “That’s not what this is about,” she quotes him as saying, adding that the timing is to give the university time to hire a new dean before the fall semester begins.

CD23: San Antonio policy analyst John Lira has an announcement planned for tomorrow (Wednesday) that he will challenge freshman U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-San Antonio) as a Democrat.

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