Ken Paxton is the 51st attorney general of Texas.
As the state’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Paxton leads more than 4,000 employees in 38 divisions and 117 offices around Texas. That includes nearly 750 attorneys, who handle more than 30,000 cases annually – enforcing child support orders, protecting Texans against consumer fraud, enforcing open government laws, providing legal advice to state officials, and representing the state of Texas in court, among other things.
His first major initiative as attorney general was the formation of a special unit dedicated to combating human trafficking in Texas. During its first year of existence, the Human Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime (HTTOC) section helped arrest the chief executive officer of Backpage.com, the largest online sex-trafficking marketplace in the United States.
Under Attorney General Paxton’s leadership, the agency’s Child Support Division is recognized as the most successful and cost-effective program in the nation. In fiscal year 2016, the division collected $4.096 billion for Texas families – an unprecedented amount in one year by any state. This success helped spare the state and Texas taxpayers over $1 billion in public assistance costs.
Attorney General Paxton is focused on protecting Texans and upholding Texas laws and the Constitution. Fighting federal overreach, he filed 22 lawsuits against the Obama administration during a two-year stretch, of which five were heard in the U.S. Supreme Court. During his tenure in office, Attorney General Paxton has won major cases for Texas on immigration, school rights, EPA rules and religious freedom. Stopping the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Regional Haze” rule averted higher energy rates for Texans. Businesses were protected and jobs preserved in Texas when Attorney General Paxton prevailed against the Department of Labor’s “Overtime Rule.”
Attorney General Paxton graduated from Baylor University, where he served as student body president, earning a B.A. in psychology and an M.B.A. After receiving a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, he worked as an attorney at Strasburger & Price, LLP, in-house counsel for J.C. Penney Company, and headed up his own law firm for 14 years in McKinney.
First elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2002, Attorney General Paxton represented House District 70 for 10 years, one of the fastest-growing regions in the state. In 2012, he was elected to the Texas state Senate, representing Senate District 8 in Collin and Dallas counties.