On Thursday, State Senator Ken Paxton (R- McKinney), who is running for Texas Attorney General, announced key endorsements from Hon. Matt Orwig and Hon. John Ratcliffe, former United States Attorneys who served under President George W. Bush, as well as former Texas State District Judge Cliff Stricklin, who served in a variety of leadership roles with the U.S. Department of Justice including Special Assistant U.S. Attorney with the Enron Task Force. Senator Paxton was also endorsed by former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jay Johnson and Kevin Collins.
Hon. Matt Orwig was appointed by President George W. Bush as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas and earned the Director’s Award for Distinguished Service from the Department of Justice. In endorsing Senator Paxton, Mr. Orwig stated, “As a former U.S. Attorney, I know how important it is to have an effective, principled conservative leader in the position of Texas Attorney General. Ken Paxton is an authentic conservative who studied at one of the nation’s top law schools. Those who have worked with Senator Paxton are impressed by his keen legal analysis and ability to skillfully navigate complex issues. He’s a man we can trust to represent our state well and not compromise on matters of principle.”
Hon. John Ratcliffe served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas from 2007-2008 and Chief of Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit for the Eastern District of Texas from 2004-2007. Ratcliffe said, “When selecting our next Attorney General, it is critical that we elect a person of unshakable integrity, as well as a proven conservative who shares a deep and abiding respect for the Constitution. For those reasons, I’m pleased to endorse Senator Ken Paxton. His clear record of commitment to constitutional principles makes him the only choice for genuine conservatives.”
Former Texas State District Judge and Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Hon. Cliff Stricklin joined in endorsing Paxton. Stricklin said, “As a former State District Judge and Assistant U.S. Attorney, I believe it is critical that we elect servant leaders to positions of trust. I have known and worked with Ken Paxton over 20 years and know him to be an individual of principle and integrity who places the interests of others above his own. His ability to think through complicated legal issues is unparalleled, and he will effectively represent the interests of his fellow citizens. Texans would be well-served with Ken Paxton as their next Attorney General.” As a federal prosecutor Mr. Stricklin was the lead trial attorney in the insider trading case against former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio. For his work, the Department presented him with the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service. Mr. Stricklin was also a key member of the Enron Task Force that tried and convicted former Enron executives Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay on securities fraud and insider trading charges. He was the co-lead prosecutor in the trial against five Enron Broadband Services executives, earning him the Department’s highest recognition: the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service.
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Texas Jay Johnson joined in endorsing Paxton. “Ken Paxton is committed to public service, both in Austin and in his home community in North Texas. His additional commitment to conservative principles, knowledge of the law, and dedication to the State of Texas make him exceptionally qualified to serve as the state’s top law enforcement officer.” In Johnson’s capacity as Assistant U.S. Attorney he coordinated the district’s efforts to combat computer and intellectual property crime. Jay’s role in the prosecution of a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme earned him the Director’s Award for Superior Performance from the Department of Justice.
Kevin Collins served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Texas, where he prosecuted complex crimes. Kevin’s role in the prosecution of an illegal Internet-based pharmacy that distributed millions of hydrocodone pills and other controlled substances without valid prescriptions earned him special recognition from the Drug Enforcement Administration. In supporting Paxton he stated, “Ken Paxton is an excellent choice for Texas Attorney General. His strong conservative principles are reflected in his eleven-year record of public service. I think he is exceptionally qualified to serve as Texas’ Attorney General.”
Previously, Senator Paxton has been endorsed by nationally recognized attorney Kelly Shackelford, who was named to the Texas Lawyer list of “Top 25 Greatest Texas Attorneys for Past 25 Years.” Mr. Shackelford is a constitutional scholar who has argued before the United States Supreme Court, testified before the U.S. House and Senate on constitutional issues, and has won three state landmark First Amendment and religious liberty cases in the past few years alone. Mr. Shackelford is on the Board of Trustees of the United States Supreme Court Historical Society.
Shackelford said, “I’ve known Ken Paxton for more than 25 years as a friend, classmate, and fellow attorney. With his impeccable credentials and sharp legal mind, Ken is the ideal person to serve as Attorney General. We know from experience that he will never turn his back on our conservative principles. We know where Ken stands because he has proven himself as reliable and trustworthy for more than a decade. He is proven. I look forward to working with him as our next Attorney General.”