With the election less than eight weeks away, several Texas statewide candidates find themselves locked in tight, single-digit races. And perhaps the best opportunity for Democrats to flip a seat could accomplish a lot.
The Signal spoke with Rochelle Garza in between stops on the campaign trail about her assessment of what a Democrat could do in the office of Attorney General. “This is supposed to be the people’s lawyer,” she said.
Because the office is independent, with powers derived from the Texas Constitution, Garza would immediately withdraw from litigation regarding the extreme abortion bans. She noted that Paxton recently secured a temporary injunction against the Biden administration’s guidance on EMTALA, which makes it clear emergency room doctors should provide lifesaving abortion care. There are other ways the Attorney General’s office could restore abortion access, including partnering with district attorneys in state court and not prosecuting doctors.
There are other issues where the AG matters. Paxton recently indicated that he is part of a coalition of Republican AG’s considering a challenge to Biden’s student loan forgiveness program. “That is something that I would not challenge,” said Garza. She mentioned that she too has student debt. “This is not what the people’s attorney should be doing.”
Garza cited several issues that she would focus on instead, like strengthening child support, investigating the power grid failure, challenging predatory lending, and making sure everyday Texans aren’t getting scammed. “Those are the things that I want to focus on, protecting Texans and making sure people can put food on the table and pay their light bill.”
As Garza continues to campaign, she emphasizes that she would use the office of Attorney General to be the “public defender of the people of Texas.” Recent polls do show her inching closer to Paxton, which she attributes to his own conduct. “[Texans] realize that the leadership that we have right now isn’t leadership at all,” she said. “Ken Paxton is more concerned about staying out of prison and protecting his own power than he is about looking out for the best interest of everyday Texans.”