Analysis: Paxton's Legal Trouble Puts Abbott in a Bind

Attorney General Jim Mattox of Texas had a funny line when he was running for governor in 1990, trying to elbow his way through a Democratic primary against former Gov. Mark White and State Treasurer Ann Richards: “I’m the only candidate in this race proven innocent by a jury of my peers.”

It was both true and uncomfortable. The state’s top legal official had been indicted and acquitted of commercial bribery while in office. Ordinarily, that is the sort of thing that can send an officeholder home, but Mattox won re-election in 1986 and made it all the ...

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