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Former President Donald Trump is planning to make an endorsement in the likely primary battle between Attorney General Ken Paxton and Land Commissioner George P. Bush.
"I like them both very much," Trump said in a statement Tuesday. "I'll be making my endorsement and recommendation to the great people of Texas in the not-so-distant future."
Bush has said he is "seriously considering" a primary challenge to Paxton and has scheduled a campaign kickoff for an unspecified office on June 2 in Austin. Bush spoke with Trump about the race Monday.
Bush and Paxton each have unique histories with Trump. Bush endeared himself to Trump by emerging as the only prominent member of his famous political family to support the former president. Paxton has been one of the most pro-Trump attorneys general — especially in the aftermath of the November election, when he launched a lawsuit challenging Trump's reelection loss in four battleground states.
Bush has said the state's top law enforcement official "needs to be above reproach." Paxton has been under indictment on securities fraud charges since 2015, and he more recently came under FBI investigation related to allegations that he abused his office to aid a wealthy donor. He has denied wrongdoing in both instances.
On Monday, Bush tweeted a picture of himself on the phone in the car, saying: "Great to speak with President Trump to discuss the future of Texas and how we are keeping up the fight to put America first. I appreciate the words of encouragement and support. Big things coming soon!"
Afterward, Bush spokesperson Karina Erickson said Bush and Trump "discussed the critical need for putting the best team on the ballot so that the Republican Party can restore conservative principles and freedoms to our country."
Trump's statement Tuesday was first reported by CNN.