By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune
“Ken Paxton, impeached and suspended from office, raised $1.7 million in less than 2 weeks” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
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Suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Monday he raised $1.7 million in 12 days in his first chance to collect campaign donations after his impeachment in May.
Paxton’s team hailed the fundraising as a triumph in spite of the House impeachment, saying it came from 2,343 donors and marked a “personal post-session fundraising record.”
Paxton raised less than $400,000 during a comparable period in 2015 — the post-session fundraising period following a statewide election. He raised $1.4 million during the comparable period in 2019.
“Not only will we survive the latest attack but we will come out of this stronger than ever,” Paxton, whose term ends in January 2027, said in a statement. “I will never stop fighting for Texas.”
State officials face a Monday night deadline to disclose their finances for the final 12 days of June. They are prohibited from fundraising around the regular legislative session, a moratorium that lifted on June 19 this year.
Paxton’s campaign initially said the fundraising came over 11 days; a spokesperson later clarified they were referring to the 12-day period.
The House impeached Paxton in late May, alleging a yearslong series of lawbreaking and misconduct. He was immediately suspended from office, and he now faces a Sept. 5 trial in the Senate on whether to permanently remove him from office.
Paxton’s full campaign finance report, likely to be released publicly Tuesday morning, will identify his donors and how much each gave. It could also make clear whether he’s tapping campaign funds to pay for his defense in the impeachment trial.
Paxton’s campaign did not provide his cash-on-hand figure, which would show how much money he had left after expenses as of June 30. He had $2.3 million in the bank at the end of last year.
The moratorium on raising money — the ban is in place during the regular session and a few weeks before and after — creates a fundraising sprint every two years for statewide officials and state lawmakers. The moratorium typically lifts in mid- to late June, leaving them with less than two weeks to replenish their coffers before the reporting period ends on June 30.
Paxton wasted little time trying to capitalize on the impeachment for fundraising purposes. On June 19, the day the moratorium ended, he tweeted an impeachment-themed appeal.
“RINOS [Republicans In Name Only] and far-left radicals have established a kangaroo court in the TX Lege. to eliminate America’s most conservative Attorney General,” Paxton said. “Help me fight back! Would you donate $1, $5, $50, $100 today to show Austin you are in this fight w/ me?”
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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2023/07/17/ken-paxton-fundraising-impeachment/.
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