Chip Roy, a longtime GOP adviser who currently works in U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's political shop, is the front-runner for first assistant to Attorney General-elect Ken Paxton, multiple sources tell The Texas Tribune.
The person in that position acts as the agency’s chief operating officer, managing lawyers and other employees in the agency’s daily affairs. The current first assistant, Daniel Hodge, is expected to follow Attorney General Greg Abbott to the governor’s office, though no official announcements have been made regarding Abbott’s staff. Hodge is currently overseeing Abbott's transition.
Paxton’s campaign, like those of other election winners, has been fielding applications and talking to potential hires since Tuesday’s results came in. Campaign officials said Monday they do not have any hires to announce.
"Austin is abuzz with staff speculation for many of the newly elected officials, but any announcement on staffing from us at this point is premature," said Anthony Holm, a spokesman for Paxton.
Roy could not immediately be reached for comment.
Roy was most recently a senior adviser to Cruz, and had been Cruz’s chief of staff before that. He was the ghost writer behind Gov. Rick Perry's book Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington.
Roy's move from Cruz chief of staff to the senator’s political office in September was taken by some as a sign of Cruz’s serious interest in running for president.
Previously, Roy ran Texas' Office of State-Federal Relations in Washington, D.C., and was a senior adviser to Perry.
Before that, he worked for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and as a special assistant U.S. attorney.
Roy got his law degree at the University of Texas at Austin after earning bachelors and masters degrees at the University of Virginia.
He would be able to call on two former bosses with expertise if he takes this new post: Cruz was the state’s solicitor general under Abbott, an assistant AG handling appellate work; and Cornyn was Abbott’s predecessor, serving as the state’s attorney general for eight years before winning his Senate seat in 2002.