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Collin County GOP chair calls Paxton impeachment acquittal a ‘triumph’

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, center, talks with his defense attorney Tony Buzbee, left, before starting the ninth day of his impeachment trial in the Senate Chamber at the Texas Capitol on Friday.
Sam Owens
/
Pool via San Antonio Express-News
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, center, sits between defense attorneys Tony Buzbee, left, and Mitch Little, right, before starting the ninth day of his impeachment trial in the Senate Chamber at the Texas Capitol on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, in Austin, Texas.

Supporters of impeached Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in Collin County — his political power base — wasted no time reacting to his acquittal on Saturday.

Abraham George is the party chair of the Collin County GOP, Paxton’s home base. He praised the Texas Senate’s verdict in a statement on social media.

“This monumental triumph is a resounding win for dedicated grassroots Republicans,” George said.

George also said the trial was a waste of time and resources that distracted GOP members from priorities like the border and economy. He also called to “clean” the Texas House. George said in a previous statement when the impeachment was first announced that the House impeachment lacked due process.

“Real corruption is when you won’t allow fair and due process,” he said.

Most of the Collin County GOP has stood by Paxton during the impeachment process. The party held a rally in his honor when the impeachment was first announced in late May. Paxton also attended a Labor Day picnic with several key players in the Collin County Republican Party, including his wife, Senator Angela Paxton, and County Judge Chris Hill.

One supporter, Barbara Isaacs, told KERA that she planned on chartering a bus to Austin.

“We’re going to pray over the Capitol, and we’re also going to pray over Ken Paxton’s hearing,” Isaacs said.

But not every member of the Collin County GOP stood by Paxton. All five of the Collin County Republicans in the Texas House voted for impeachment, calling it a difficult decision. The representatives released a joint statement on social media that said they felt there was enough evidence to vote for impeachment.

House Representative Jeff Leach, whose district includes parts of Allen and McKinney, said during his closing arguments at the trial he knew his decision to impeach Paxton would be controversial.

“There comes a time when one must take a stand that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular,” Leach said. “But one must take it because it’s right.”

George suggested in a social media post that Leach should register with the Collin County Democratic Party when he runs for reelection. He said Leach has aligned himself with Democrats too much, putting Republican objectives on the backburner.

Garica said the voters will remember how Leach and the other Collin County GOP members voted during the impeachment process when they’re up for re-election.

“It’s going to affect them politically for sure,” she said.

Got a tip? Email Caroline Love at clove@kera.org.

Caroline Love is a Report For Americacorps member for KERA News.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gifttoday. Thank you.

Caroline Love covers Collin County for KERA and is a member of the Report for America corps. Previously, Caroline covered daily news at Houston Public Media. She has a master's degree from Northwestern University with an emphasis on investigative social justice journalism. During grad school, she reported three feature stories for KERA. She also has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Texas Christian University and interned with KERA's Think in 2019.