AUSTIN, Texas — George P. Bush continues to make the case against Attorney General Ken Paxton as he seriously eyes a challenge to the two-term incumbent Republican.
Bush is the current Land Commissioner but said in an interview on Capital Tonight Friday, he's set to make an announcement after the legislative session about his political future.
"I'm excited to be able to serve Texans for another four years," he said. "The Texas Attorney General truly is a leader for the conservative movement nationally. We need an advocate that's above reproach that brings integrity to the office every single day. Somebody's that focused more on the job rather than having to keep themselves, not only out of federal imprisonment, but federal investigations."
Paxton's been under indictment on state securities fraud charges since 2015. He's also facing bribery and abuse of office allegations from former agency employees. He's denied wrongdoing in both.
Bush is the grandson and nephew of two former presidents. Both of whom have been critical of former President Donald Trump. But the younger Bush says he continues to support what Trump did in office.
"I still stand by his policies and his vision for our country. I'm excited Texas continues to stand its state government behind those ideas and I would want to bring those to this office if I choose to run for it," he said. "I will say this, that I think I could actually win more votes for him than some others on the ballot."
On Thursday, the Texas House pushed back against the Attorney General's office during its budget debate. Lawmakers voted to cap what Paxton's office can spend on outside legal counsel to $500 dollars per hour. That's in response to the state's major, and costly, lawsuit against Google which the attorney general's office has hired outside lawyers to handle.
Bush said he'd like to see some more flexibility with that because specialized attorneys can be critical to winning cases. But he argued it could be handled within the agency.
"This comes back to the lack of morale in the most important law firm in the State of Texas and that's the state Attorney General. If we didn't see the behavior we've seen from the current occupant, then perhaps we'd have some highly qualified attorneys where we didn't have to hire from the outside," Bush said.
Click the video link above to watch our full conversation with Commissioner Bush, including why he supports reinstating the 'remain in Mexico' policy and the election bills currently advancing at the legislature.