Paxton wins GOP runoff for Texas attorney general

Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, addresses the opening session of the 82nd Texas Legislature, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, addresses the opening session of the 82nd Texas Legislature, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN (AP) — Tea party favorite Ken Paxton has won the Republican nomination for Texas attorney general after a bruising runoff against fellow lawmaker Dan Branch.

Paxton is now the favorite to replace Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor.

Paxton weathered ethics attacks since the March primary and scrutiny over his work as an investment adviser. State regulators earlier this month fined the McKinney state senator $1,000 for failing to make required disclosures.

A national “dark money” group also poured more than a half-million dollars into TV ads criticizing Paxton. But GOP voters still went with Paxton, whose campaign got a big boost after being praised by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

Branch had served in the Texas House for a decade.

Paxton will face Democrat Sam Houston in November.

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