Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.
Angela Paxton, the wife of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, is considering a run for state Senate, according to people familiar with her thinking.
Paxton has her sights set on Senate District 8, which is currently held by Van Taylor, R-Plano. He's expected to give up the seat to run for Congress in 2018, and he filed paperwork Tuesday to start that process.
Paxton is a guidance counselor at Legacy Christian Academy in Frisco. She's also been active in state Republican politics, appearing at events with her husband and on her own. At GOP gatherings, she often performs a song that includes the line, "I'm a pistol-packin' mama, and my husband sues Obama."
The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.
A Paxton candidacy would shake up the current race to replace Taylor. Phillip Huffines, the chairman of the Dallas County GOP, has emerged as a frontrunner after two Republican state representatives from Plano, Jeff Leach and Matt Shaheen, considered running but ultimately took a pass. Shaheen announced Friday he'd instead run for re-election to the House.
"Phillip Huffines is taking his conservative message to the voters and is looking forward to a vibrant discussion on the campaign," Huffines spokesman Matt Langston said in a statement. "Mrs. Ken Paxton will make an interesting opponent. Phillip will work hard to earn every vote."
Four state representatives from the area said Tuesday that Paxton would have their support if she ran: Leach, Shaheen, Jodie Laubenberg of Parker and Scott Sanford of McKinney. Some of them said Paxton would provide a clear contrast to Huffines, who is not originally from Collin County. It makes up a large part of the district, which her husband represented from 2013-2015 before becoming attorney general.
"We need to have a hometown person for that Senate district," Sanford said. Paxton, he added, "already is up to speed. She doesn't have a learning curve for learning the community."
Laubenberg put it more simply: "She's Collin County."
Huffines, the twin brother of Republican state Sen. Don Huffines of Dallas, has argued his family's business ventures — dating back over 90 years — have made him a familiar face in Collin County. The family's long been involved in selling cars and building homes in North Texas.
"We're not new to Collin County," Phillip Huffines told reporters in June. "Collin County is part of our home. It's our backyard."