AUSTIN (KXAN) — The candidate who sought to unseat the Texas attorney general will now take on a new job that could pit the two against each other in future legal fights.
Rochelle Garza, the Democratic candidate for attorney general last year, announced she would become the president of the Texas Civil Rights Project, a legal advocacy organization in the state. The group shared the hiring news Thursday in a news release, noting Garza will begin her new post on Feb. 1.
In a statement Thursday, Garza said, “Texans’ civil rights and basic freedoms are under assault, and those in power must be held accountable. This fight is not new to TCRP, and I’m honored and humbled to be the next President. I look forward to working with a team fiercely dedicated to empowering Texans through community lawyering and organizing directly with impacted communities. Together we will build a Texas big enough for all of us.”
She lost the general election in November last year to Republican incumbent Ken Paxton, who won a third term as the state’s top attorney by approximately 10 percentage points. Before running for office, Garza worked as a civil rights attorney. She often highlighted on the campaign trail a case she won before the U.S. Supreme Court as evidence that she could have success in major legal battles. In Azar v. Garza, she represented a teenage, undocumented immigrant in U.S. custody who was denied access to abortion.
The Texas Civil Rights Project mentioned that legal work in the announcement Thursday about Garza’s hiring.
“More than ever, I am confident that TCRP has a bright future ahead,” Raven Hollins, the organization’s interim president who will soon serve as Garza’s chief of staff, said in a statement. “We have a long track record of success at both the state and national level under our innovative community lawyering model. We will continue to build on this foundation, under Rochelle’s leadership, along with the impeccable talent of our staff.”
One of Paxton’s other challengers, former Texas land commissioner George P. Bush, shared he’s now going to work for a law firm based in Wisconsin. Bush advanced to a runoff against Paxton but ultimately lost his bid to become the Republican nominee.