WASHINGTON – With less than a month until the Nov. 8 election, Attorney General Ken Paxton has released his first attack ad against Democratic opponent Rochelle Garza that focuses on her immigration and border record.
In the 30-second ad posted to Twitter, Paxton’s campaign claims Garza works as a lawyer for human traffickers who smuggled immigrants into the United States, and that she would work to open the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. It goes on to attack her comments on law enforcement and border patrol officers.
“No wall, no enforcement, let everyone in,” the ad ends.
Paxton used similar attacks in a series of billboards located in Houston, Galveston, San Antonio and Dallas that read: “Busted for human trafficking? Rochelle Garza will defend you!”
Garza, a civil rights attorney from South Texas, did briefly serve as legal counsel for two people accused of illegally transporting unauthorized immigrants but didn’t submit any filings during that time, court records show.
Earlier this week Garza released the first television ad in the race that focused on Paxton’s efforts to ban abortion and promises to strongly enforce the state’s near total ban on the practice.
Throughout the campaign, Garza has also attempted to focus voters’ attention on Paxton’s ongoing legal trouble. He remains under indictment on securities fraud charges and the FBI recently opened an investigation into claims of corruption, both of which Paxton has denied.
The Democrat responded to Friday’s attack on Twitter and said the ad was a sign her campaign could win.
“Criminally-indicted Ken Paxton is attacking Rochelle Garza because he is scared. Her campaign is within striking distance of beating him and he’s terrified of losing power,” Garza campaign spokesperson Marcy Miranda said in a statement.
“Texans have not forgotten that Paxton has been twice-indicted for nearly a decade without trial, that he’s under FBI investigation for bribery, and that he’s a coward who runs from the law.”
The attorney general recently fled his McKinney home with the aid of his wife when a process server attempted to deliver a subpoena to testify in a lawsuit by nonprofit groups that want to help Texans pay for out-of-state abortions. Paxton said he avoided the server out of safety concerns.
In the latest UT Tyler-Dallas Morning News poll, Paxton widened his lead over Garza to 7 percentage points, up 2-points from a previous poll.
Fundraising for the attorney general race has jumped in the past months. Paxton has $4.9 million in the campaign while Garza has $1.5 million.
Early voting in the election begins Oct. 24.