Joined by many of Texas’ Republican elite, Ken Paxton said the state would have to guard against complacency on Monday as he was sworn in as the state’s attorney general.
Among those joining Paxton at the Texas Capitol ceremony were Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Gov.-elect Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. Abbott, whom Paxton succeeded as attorney general, administered the oath to Paxton.
Paxton said that Texas is under assault from federal overreach and must work to stand its ground.
“We are a beacon of hope,” Paxton said. “But we are also a target as well.”
Republican officials praised Paxton, saying he would take up the mantle of defending Texas. Perry said Paxton's background as a small-business owner and a legislator would prepare him for the attorney general's office.
"The attorney general in this state has always played a particularly important role," Perry said.
Patrick and Willett spoke of how they knew Paxton personally. Patrick said he got to know him well on the 2014 campaign trail, and Willett said he knew Paxton from their days at Baylor University. While also praising Paxton, Cruz warned him that he had a tough act to follow.
"General Abbott is my friend, he is my mentor, he is someone who I was honored to learn from, standing by his side. And I'll tell you Ken you got some very big shoes to fill," Cruz said.
Paxton told a crowd he was ready for the task, noting that his shoe size was "size 12."
“That’s a decision for the House of Representatives to make, and I am sure they will make their decision carefully,” Cruz said.