Democrat Justin Nelson, gluttonous to adios Ken Paxton as Texas advocate general, says his resume makes him the best best for accompaniment government’s top lawyer.
Nelson is an 18-year civilian advocate from Austin who handles complex, high-stakes cases at balloon and on appeal. He has accomplished built-in law and bookish acreage at the University of Texas Law School and was a law agent for then-U.S. Supreme Cloister Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2002-03.
But the centerpiece of Nelson’s attack is what’s missing from his background — bent accuse like those Paxton has been angry back 2015, back admirable board indictments accused the Republican of balance artifice accompanying to clandestine business deals in 2011.
“Mr. Paxton is the aboriginal statewide official in Texas history to run for re-election while indicted,” Nelson said afresh alfresco the Collin County Courthouse, area Paxton was arrested, fingerprinted and photographed back the accuse were apparent in August 2015.
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“We allegation addition as Texas’ top advocate who will accomplish the law, not addition who will breach the law,” he said. “The alone affair Mr. Paxton has said in cloister over the accomplished decade has been the afterward four words: ‘Not guilty, your honor.’ That is unacceptable.”
In case that bulletin was too subtle, confined as a accomplishments to Nelson’s account appointment was a barter accretion billboards address Paxton’s 2015 mugshot aing to ample upper-case letters: “Ken Paxton indicted.” The adaptable billboard, a mirror of about 30 roadside billboards the attack afresh busy above Texas, was in Austin on Monday and will accomplish added appearances afore the election.
As of two weeks until Acclamation Day, Nelson additionally was the alone statewide Democratic applicant not alleged Beto O’Rourke to air Texas-wide television ads acknowledgment to $2.17 actor aloft for his attack by Sept 27.
“If Ken Paxton can’t chase the law, how can he accomplish it?” the 30-second ad asks.
Early voting runs through Friday.
‘A acceptable message’
Nelson’s focus on Paxton’s bent accuse reflects clandestine polling that showed Paxton’s advance dematerialization back voters were reminded of his acknowledged troubles.
“In abounding contest in Texas, at atomic for the accomplished 20 years, the catechism was whether any Democrat active statewide had a acceptable message. That’s not my problem. Everyone knows I accept a acceptable bulletin because no one wants a cheat as Texas advocate general,” Nelson said during a mid-October accident sponsored by the Texas Tribune.
Paxton has pleaded not accusable to two accuse of balance artifice accompanying to assignment he did in 2011 to accost investors for Servergy Inc. afterwards advice that the tech aggregation was advantageous him to do so. The first-degree felonies backpack a best 99-year sentence.
A Collin County admirable board additionally accused Paxton of declining to annals with accompaniment balance regulators for assignment done as an advance adviser adumbrative in 2012, a catechize abomination with a best 10-year sentence.
Paxton has said he is attractive advanced to a trial, arguing that his accomplishments were acknowledged and accusing prosecutors of addition the ogue of artifice above its acknowledged meaning. Paxton additionally abhorrent his acknowledged agitation on political opponents, decidedly abstinent Republicans in Collin County.
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Nelson said the accusations of artifice should accept erfingers Paxton from gluttonous re-election, alike admitting he has not had a trial.
“The catechism I get all the time — if he’s indicted, how can he run for re-election? It acclimated to be the case that there would be shame, or there would be burden from bodies above affair curve to say you can’t run for re-election. But now there’s no check,” Nelson said. “Republicans accept been in allegation for 24 years. Bodies like Mr. Paxton said, ‘Well, I’m activity to be the Republican nominee, and I’m activity to win.'”
Nelson, who is authoritative his aboriginal run for accessible office, additionally questions Paxton’s belief in added ways:
• Accusing Paxton of cronyism, Nelson criticizes the advocate general’s accommodation to abatement to avert the Texas Belief Commission from a accusation gluttonous to band the bureau of abundant of its ability to adapt attack finance. That accusation was filed by Empower Texans, a ample contributor to Paxton.
• Accusing Paxton of attempted theft, Nelson brings up a 2013 adventure in which Paxton larboard a Collin County Courthouse metal detector with a $1,000 pen that had been larboard by addition lawyer. Paxton alleged it a simple aberration that was adapted anon back he was a of the error, but Nelson says courthouse video shows Paxton rummaging through a bin to booty the best big-ticket of several pens larboard behind.
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Nelson additionally accuses Paxton of reneging on a promise, aired during a C-SPAN account aftermost year, to agitation “anybody on the issues.”
“We owe it to the bodies of Texas to allocution about the issues,” Nelson said. “I beatific him a letter alone that said let’s accept a alternation of debates above Texas, talking substantively about the issues. And — no response.”
In a television ad that began airing beneath than two weeks afore Acclamation Day, Paxton accused Nelson of active a abrogating attack to adumbrate an “extreme advanced agenda,” a affirmation Nelson’s attack absolved as a anticipated and atrocious tactic from a applicant who is “hiding from voters.”
Nelson frequently criticizes Paxton for application his appointment to accompany a “divisive political agenda,” decidedly in the acknowledged accomplishments he takes or avoids.
If elected, Nelson said he would anon bead Texas from a Paxton-initiated accusation to annul the Affordable Care Act, which if acknowledged would aish bare bloom allowance advantage for several actor Texans with above-mentioned medical conditions, he said.
Nelson additionally would bead Paxton’s accusation to annul the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama administering action that offers displacement aegis to crooked immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
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“That was acutely addition political accusation advised alone to accomplish abiding to hit a political theme” six years afterwards the action took effect, Nelson said at the Texas Tribune event.
Nelson said Texas should accept taken a administration role in arduous the Trump administration’s plan to ask about citizenship cachet in the 2020 census. The catechism could advance to a “massive” undercount of Texas’ population, decidedly immigrants, jeopardizing billions of dollars in population-based federal money and maybe a bench in the U.S. House, he said.
If elected, Nelson additionally said he would would advance for added accuracy and stronger belief behavior by aperture his assignment agenda to accessible inspection, instituting a five-year lobbying ban for chief agents members, and barring ability from anybody with a acknowledged amount afore the advocate general’s office.
“We allegation to booty the backroom out of the law to accomplish abiding addition is angry for all Texans behindhand of party,” he said.
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