It should have been a simple and straightforward process. A group of nonprofits has filed a lawsuit to help Texans pay for out-of-state abortions. As part of the case, a bailiff named Ernesto Martin Herrera went to the home of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to deliver a subpoena to appear in federal court.
And that’s when things apparently got a little weird. The Texas Tribune reported that Paxton, according to an affidavit filed in federal court by the bailiff, literally fled his home.
When Herrera arrived at Paxton’s home in McKinney on Monday morning, he told a woman who identified herself as Angela that he was trying to deliver legal documents to the attorney general. She told him that Paxton was on the phone and unable to come to the door. Herrera said he would wait. Almost an hour later, a black Chevrolet Tahoe pulled into the driveway, and 20 minutes later, Ken Paxton walked out of the house.
“I walked up the aisle approaching Mr. Paxton and called his name. As soon as he saw me and heard me screaming his name, he turned and ran inside the house through the same garage door,” Herrera wrote in the sworn affidavit.
According to the bailiff’s version of events, the state attorney general’s wife, Republican Senator Angela Paxton, came out of the house, got into a truck in the driveway, started it and opened the doors.
“A few minutes later, I saw Mr. Paxton RAN from the door inside the garage to the rear door behind the driver’s side,” Herrera wrote. “I approached the truck and called out loud to him by name and said I had court documents for him. Mr. Paxton ignored me and continued walking towards the truck.
The Texas Tribune report added that the processing server eventually placed the documents on the ground near the truck and told Paxton he was serving a subpoena.
For his part, the Texas Republican tried to argue last night that he was avoiding a ‘stranger who lingers outside’ his home and fled for his safety.
It’s a little hard to believe. For one thing, the usher told Paxton’s wife why he was there. On the other hand, Herrera explained to Paxton why he was there. While we’re at it, if Paxton was really concerned that the bailiff might pose a threat, why would he send his wife to start the truck?
It should also be noted that if the Texas Attorney General was concerned about a possible intruder in his home, he could have called local law enforcement, and officers would likely have arrived fairly quickly.
What we have instead is a situation where Paxton was apparently trying to avoid a process server.
Complicating matters, of course, is the fact that this alleged incident is just the latest in a series of legal issues surrounding the Texas attorney general. As regular readers know, the Republican was already indicted for criminal securities fraud when members of his own team brought multiple criminal allegations against him in October 2020.
A few months later, FBI agents arrived at Paxton’s doorstep — not usually a good sign for a politician — and in the months since, the Texan has faced intense scrutiny. rude from the Texas district attorney’s office. More recently, the Texas State Bar targeted Paxton for filing bogus anti-election litigation.
Now, obviously, he’s been reduced to fleeing his house to avoid a bailiff as well.
Going back to our previous coverage, common sense might lead one to believe that there is simply no way an incumbent facing such circumstances could run and win a re-election campaign. Indeed, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush – a member of a once-powerful Lone Star State family – viewed the attorney general as vulnerable and launched a primary campaign.
Republican voters in Texas didn’t care: Paxton crushed Bush, winning by about 36 points.
He will still have to contest the general election, of course, and Paxton’s bid for re-election four years ago was pretty close. That said, Texas is still a red state, and by most measures Paxton is favored to win a third term.
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