By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune
“Paxton defense attorney to challenge Texas House Republican who voted for impeachment” 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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Mitch Little, one of Ken Paxton’s attorneys in his Senate impeachment trial, is taking steps to run for the Texas House as the now-acquitted attorney general plots a political revenge tour.
Little on Tuesday filed a campaign treasurer appointment for House District 65, currently held by freshman Rep. Kronda Thimesch, R-Lewisville. The filing, made public Wednesday, allows him to start raising money for the office.
Little was once a key supporter of Thimesch, one of 60 House Republicans who voted to impeach Paxton in May. Little served as Thimesch’s campaign treasurer until resigning in August prior to the impeachment trial.
Paxton himself teased a possible Little campaign Tuesday, saying on social media, “Mitch, I think the Texas House needs you.”
Asked for comment on the campaign treasurer filing, Little poked fun at a Texas Tribune reporter for drawing attention to it.
“You went all through your house and found the Christmas presents before your parents wrapped them, didn’t you?” Little wrote in an email.
Asked for comment about Little’s plans to run, Thimesch touted votes to support investing in border security and cutting property taxes, adding that she was named the “most conservative freshman state representative” by her peers.
She added that she talked with Little in August about their disagreement “on a single issue” — Paxton’s impeachment — and, noting that they both attend the same church, she asked to pray for him that day. Ultimately, she added, he “felt strongly enough” about it that he stepped down as her campaign treasurer to run against her.
“That is certainly his right to do in the great state of Texas,” Thimesch said. “I’ve run in a competitive primary twice already, and won outright both times — which I plan to do again in 2024.”
Little is a partner at Scheef & Stone, a law firm in Frisco. He has long worked for Paxton in his numerous personal legal battles, including his long-running 2015 indictment on securities fraud charges.
Little’s tenacious and sometimes aggressive approach made him a memorable figure from the impeachment trial, which centered on claims by former top deputies in Paxton’s office that he abused his power to help a friend and donor, Nate Paul. Little led the questioning of one witness, whistleblower Ryan Vassar, who said the deputies “took no evidence” to the FBI when they reported Paxton in 2020. The comment set off an effort by prosecutors to get Vassar to clarify that his own eyewitness account amounted to evidence.
Thimesch, a former Lewisville school board member, was first elected last year and already announced her reelection campaign in June. Her Republican-friendly district covers a swatch of the suburbs north of Dallas and Fort Worth.
Since the Senate acquitted him last month, Paxton has wasted little time going after his political enemies. He has endorsed nearly a dozen primary challengers to House Republicans who voted to impeach him.
Little has been especially critical of the House, using his account on X, formerly known as Twitter, to jab at leadership over its handling of the impeachment.
His political ambitions have not been a secret. During a live conversation on X days after the acquittal, he was asked if he might run for office and he did not rule it out, saying, “Let’s hold that question in abeyance.”
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2023/10/18/mitch-little-ken-paxton-house-district-65/.
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