By Reubin Turner
Assistant City Editor
Baylor alumnus Ken Paxton is running to fill the office of attorney general for Texas, which is currently held by Greg Abbott, attorney general, a top contender in the 2014 gubernatorial election.
Paxton, who is a practicing attorney in McKinney and currently represents District 8 in the Texas Senate, said although he’s enjoyed working in legislature, he said he feels he could do more for Texas as the attorney general.
“With Abbott moving on to become governor, we need to continue to focus on the federal branch and their agenda to expand power,” Paxton said.
While an undergraduate at the university, Paxton served as student body president and started the widely known service event Steppin’ Out during his tenure. He also started the Freshman Leadership Organization.
Katy junior Carrie Pyle said that Steppin’ Out is an event where students can spend time giving back to the community, and helping out others.
“Each time I’ve done Steppin’ Out, we’ve contributed to a project that would have taken days or weeks to complete, but with 30 plus students, it was a matter of hours,” Pyle said.
Paxton said the office of the attorney general has become increasingly important in the past few years, as the executive branch has continuously attempted to violate the 10th Amendment.
According to an article published USA Today in July 2013, Abbott had, at the time, sued the president more than 27 times within the past five years.
Abbott was quoted as saying, “I go into the office in the morning. I sue Barack Obama, and then I go home.”
Paxton said if he were elected, he would likely continue this trend.
Paxton studied law at the University of Virginia, and said he believes the Constitution is not a living document and should not be adjusted to fit social norms.
“I think it’s important we convey to the government that they can no longer continue to trump the rights of states, especially with laws that violate our constitutional rights,” Paxton said.
Paxton said he supports legislation that protects gun rights, and the states’ rights to pass voter ID laws that don’t infringe on the rights of voters.
In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the requirement that states such as Texas and Mississippi get approval from the federal government before enacting any voting laws. Paxton said this will help Texas pass laws that ensure voter ID fraud does not occur.
“Voter ID is a simple concept, and it’s a very common practice,” Paxton said. According to his website, safeguarding voter ID will be one of his primary concerns.
Paxton graduated from Baylor with a bachelor’s degree in 1985, and went on to receive a Master of Business Administration from the university as well.
Paxton’s opponents for office in the Republican primary include Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, and state railroad commissioner Barry Smitheran.
Early voting for the office begins today and ends on Feb. 28. Election Day will be held on Mar. 4.