Religious-right groups have swooned over Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general and candidate for the Republican nomination for governor next year. Now they appear to be lining up behind a candidate to replace Abbott as AG: state Sen. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney.
Today Paxton’s campaign released a long list of religious-right activists who are backing his bid to become the state’s chief law enforcement officer. The list includes Cathie Adams of Texas Eagle Forum, Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Institute (and its lobby arm in Austin, Texas Values), Tim Lambert of the Texas Home School Coalition, Peggy Venable of Americans for Prosperity-Texas, leaders from Concerned Women for America of Texas, and David Barton‘s WallBuilders sidekick Rick Green. These are among the most rabidly anti-gay, anti-sex education and anti-abortion culture warriors in the state (not to mention their strident opposition to church-state separation).
Paxton’s extreme positions on important issues makes their hearts flutter, of course. This year, for example, Paxton tried to pass legislation that would have effectively ended sex education in much of Texas, a state with one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation. Fortunately, TFN and our coalition partners succeeded in stopping that bill. Paxton has also supported massive cuts to family planning programs for women as well as, in legislative special sessions this summer, some of the most extreme restrictions on abortion in the country. Make no mistake, Paxton has made the war on women, birth control and sex education a priority. And he would take that agenda to the Texas Attorney General’s Office.