By Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2022

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been forced into a runoff for the Republican nomination as he tries to hang onto his job while under the cloud of an FBI investigation.

Paxton was ahead Tuesday night at the top vote-getter in a crowded race but failed to capture the more than 50% of the vote needed to avoid a runoff.

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, was trying to advance to face Paxton in the runoff. Eva Guzman, a former state Supreme Court justice, and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert also were competing for a spot in the runoff.

Since taking office in 2015, Paxton has become one of the nation’s most prominent state attorneys general, leading lawsuits against Big Tech and trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election. But he has also spent those years dogged by a felony indictment on securities fraud charges and revelations that donors and allies have benefited from his office.

A bigger threat to his political future looms after several top deputies resigned in 2020 and reported Paxton to the FBI over accusations that he used his office to help a wealthy donor.

Paxton has broadly denied wrongdoing and called the accusations politically motivated.

The runoff is in May.

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