By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune
“Tony Buzbee, lawyer for Ken Paxton, running for Houston City Council seat” 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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Tony Buzbee, the high-profile lead lawyer defending impeached Attorney General Ken Paxton, filed to run for Houston City Council on Monday.
With hours until the filing deadline, Buzbee livestreamed himself filing to run for District G, currently held by Mary Nan Huffman. The office is nonpartisan, though the district is conservative and covers the affluent neighborhoods of West Houston.
“I’m not sure who all the opponents are, but we’re gonna work very hard to do the very best we can,” Buzbee said on the stream.
Huffman has already filed to run for reelection. She responded to Buzbee’s filing in a statement that called it “just another cheap publicity stunt by Tony Buzbee.”
“He doesn’t care about representing the taxpayers of District G for the next four years,” Huffman said. “He doesn’t even care about representing Ken Paxton in his impeachment trial in September. He only cares about himself and his press clippings.”
Buzbee was named Paxton’s lead counsel in early June. That came days after the House voted to impeach Paxton, alleging a yearslong pattern of misconduct and lawbreaking centered on his relationship with Nate Paul, an Austin real estate investor and Paxton campaign donor. Paxton was immediately suspended from office.
The Senate is scheduled to hold a Sept. 5 trial on whether to permanently remove Paxton from office.
Buzbee told The Texas Tribune he spoke with Paxton before filing for the office and said he does not seeing his new campaign “having any impact on the trial.” He suggested he is well-acquainted with juggling big responsibilities.
“In my life, no matter what’s happening, there’s always another big case,” Buzbee said.
Buzbee is no stranger to Houston politics. He ran for mayor in 2019, challenging incumbent Sylvester Turner while self-funding his campaign with over $10 million. Buzbee forced Turner to a runoff, though Turner then defeated Buzbee by a comfortable margin.
In an Instagram post Monday, Buzbee acknowledged he considered another mayoral run but did not want to do it if it would be a “fool’s errand” or help another candidate win “who I feel would be severely damaging to our city.”
Huffman, who won the seat in a January 2022 special election, is an intriguing target for Buzbee. She has been a client of Allen Blakemore, the chief political consultant for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the presiding officer of the impeachment trial.
Buzbee had previously teased running again for mayor, which is an open seat now because Turner is term-limited. But that race is already crowded, with two prominent Democrats leading the pack: state Sen. John Whitmire and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2023/08/21/tony-buzbee-houston-city-council-paxton/.
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