Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

February 19, 2014

Republicans host state senators at gala

Patrick, Paxton dispute blue Texas

Johnson County Republicans celebrated their annual President’s Day Gala with two state senators and the wife of a third.

Mel Birdwell, wife of state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, served as the event’s emcee. Birdwell introduced the night’s speakers, state Sen. Ken Paxton, R-Allen, and state Sen.. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, as her second and third favorite conservative state senators.

The battle to keep Texas conservative and business friendly remains ever ongoing, both senators said before stating why they believe they’re the best candidates to assist in those efforts.

Paxton filed to run for attorney general after Attorney General Greg Abbott announced his intentions to run for governor. Paxton faces Dan Branch and Barry Smitherman in the Republican Primary with the winner facing Democratic candidate Sam Houston in November.

Paxton called Brian Birdwell a good friend and a fighter on the side of Johnson County and Texas values.

“Brian’s not only an American hero,” Paxton said. “But also one of the best legislators I’ve ever met.”

To the several local race candidates attending the gala, Paxton joked that he can’t vote for them.

“But I have family in Johnson County,” Paxton said. “So be nice to me and I’ll get word out to them.”

Paxton asked attendees to pray for him given that he has daughters aged 15, 17 and 18. Turning more serious, Paxton said his patriotism and call to service derives from his parents and spoke of accompanying his mother when he was young to see his father off to Vietnam.

State legislators typically deal with state issues, Paxton said, but the paradigm shifted in large part to focus on “intrusions by the federal government” after President Barack Obama’s election, he said.

Abbott, Paxton said, has done an admirable job in fighting such intrusions on the economic and political fronts — battles he plans to continue if elected attorney general.

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