AUSTIN (Nexstar) — In the primary race for Texas Attorney General, not a single Republican or Democratic candidate got more than 50% of the vote, meaning both sides are headed to a runoff.
For Republicans, George P. Bush is set to battle incumbent Ken Paxton. That projection was announced the night of the election.
On Thursday, all 5,052 polling locations were officially reporting, giving Texas a clearer picture of which Democrat will be taking on Rochelle Garza in the Democratic runoff.
Joe Jaworski said he was waiting for all polling locations to report and considers this update official.
“We were waiting for the Secretary of State’s Office to show to 100%. They’ve been saying that 254 of 254 counties have reported, but there was always this sort of annoying difference between polling locations. It’s finally now 100%. So we are 1,400 votes ahead of Lee Merritt,” Jaworski said.
The results aren’t official until the canvas of the votes. He said he’s prepared to take on Garza in May.
“I think we’re all substantially on the same page when it comes to the major ticket items that appear on cable news every night. But my specific request to Democratic voters is restore the Texas Attorney General’s Office to that of a consumer protection law firm,” Jaworski said.
“If Democrats want to win in November, then I’m going to respectfully suggest that they support Joe Jaworski, an attorney who not only will get every Democrat to vote, as Ms. Garza may be able to say, but also moderate Republicans and independents,” Jaworski added.
Garza said her vote count makes her confident Texans will choose her in May.
“We pulled in over 400,000 votes, more than double the next two opponents. The people of Texas are saying something. They’re saying that they’re ready for representation; they’re ready for a woman to take on this position, a Latina,” Garza said.
Fourth-place finisher Mike Fields called for Jaworski and Merritt to step down, and hand it over to Garza. Jaworski said he won’t back down.
“Think about every team who enters the fourth quarter down by 20 points. I mean, do we ask the quarterback, ‘look, hand the ball over, man, it’s over?’ No, we don’t. This is Texas politics,” Jaworski said.
Jaworski also noted the difference between the fight among the Democrats and Republicans n this race.
“The bitterness that has ensued from how the primary turned to the Republican runoff is going to be on full display for the next 84 days, while Ms. Garza and I will have a respectable debate where we respect each other,” he said.
Paxton Tuesday night reacted to Bush pinning down second place for the runoff.
“What I’d say is clearly to the establishment, they got what they wanted to get me to a runoff,” Paxton said.
Bush, directly responding to that comment Tuesday night, said, “Ken Paxton is all about the labels right? As an indicted felon, he’s gonna do what he can to stay out of jail. If that’s his tactic, then so be it. But I’m going to focus on issues that Texas conservatives want to get done on the streets.”
Bush also challenged Paxton to five televised debates. Paxton has yet to respond to that challenge.
The other two candidates in that race are not endorsing either Paxton or Bush.
Louie Gohmert said he would have endorsed Eva Guzman, who finished third against Paxton, but will now refrain from supporting either of the two in the runoff.
The runoff is set for May 24, 2022.