2014 Texas Attorney General Race
|2014 Texas Attorney General Race|
|Republican Primary||March 4, 2014|
|Democrat Primary||March 4, 2014 (if needed)|
|General Election||November 4, 2014|
Texas will have an election for its Attorney General on November 4, 2014. The current incumbent, Greg Abbott, is running for Governor.
MCTP Endorses - Ken Paxton - While State Senator Paxton and Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman both have impressive credentials, experience, and records, and they both had exceptional MCTP interviews, Senator Paxton exhibits more Ted Cruz-like courage. He will more likely continue the strong fight at the Attorney General level for Constitutional conservatism against federal intrusion. See Vetting Summary below for more analysis.
Description of the Office
As the top lawyer of the State of Texas, the duties of the Attorney General include:
- Defending the laws and the Constitution of the State of Texas
- Representing the state in litigation
- Approving public bond issues
- Serving as legal counsel to all boards and agencies of state government
Answers to MCTP Questionnaire
- Civil liberties
- State debt
Both Senator Paxton and Commissioner Smitherman have split support from some conservative/Tea Party groups, but most of the other like-minded groups are siding with Paxton.
A big concern for us in our interview with Smitherman was his "memory lapse" concerning the name of the developer hired, at a low bid of $13.9 million, to "update" (i.e., fix) the Railroad Commission's (RRC's) outdated and highly criticized DOS software system. We already knew the developer was the CGI Group, the controversial and much-maligned developer of the infamous Affordable Care Act (ACA, better known as Obamacare) website.
In addition, most oil and gas (O&G) companies know that RRC has been plagued with ongoing gutting (including under Smitherman's watch), resulting in incompetent hires despite the plethora of industry-accessible revenues. While we applaud Smitherman's cost-cutting measures, we're concerned that he and his predecessors' austerity measures have been detrimental to the RRC and to the O&G industry it serves.
Dan Branch is a Joe Straus supporter and moderate establishment type, at best. He did not reply to our questionnaire, and therefore he was not interviewed.