Republican Rep. Mike McCaul has returned the campaign cash given to him by the Austin investor at the center of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s bribery scandal, reports KXAN’s John Engel.
Last week, seven high-ranking officials in Paxton’s office resigned, accusing him of bribery and abuse of his office. Those officials named Nate Paul, a Republican donor and founder of investment firm World Class Holdings, as the person they said Paxton had violated the law with.
Federal Election Commission filings show Paul donated $2,800 to McCaul’s campaign in September 2019. Paul also donated another $2,800 to Sen. John Cornyn’s campaign a month later.
Mike Siegel, McCaul’s opponent in Texas 10th congressional district, is claiming credit for the incumbent Republican returning the campaign cash. On Monday, Siegel called on Paxton to resign and said McCaul should “return the bribes.”
“Dark money and corrupt politicians have no place in our democracy,” Siegel said in a Friday news release reacting to McCaul’s return of the campaign cash.
“Congressman McCaul is funded by millions of dollars in corporate PAC money and health care special interests,” Siegel said, challenging McCaul to a debate.
Siegel, a former attorney for the city of Austin, is running one of the most progressive campaigns in Texas this cycle. He has pressured McCaul to debate for almost a month. Other Democratic congressional campaigns, like that of Gina Ortiz Jones and Wendy Davis, have faced off against their opponents in televised debates this past week.
An internal poll released late last month shows Siegel and McCaul locked in a tight race.
The competitiveness of the race recently spurred the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm of House Democrats, to step into the race. On Wednesday, the DCCC added Siegel to their “Red to Blue” program that will see more funding and resources flow into the Austin-Houston area congressional race.
Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images