Texas AG Ken Paxton endorses Trump attorney in Missouri AG race: ‘The right person’

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FIRST ON FOX: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is throwing his support behind one of former President Trump’s attorneys in the GOP primary race to serve as Missouri’s chief legal officer.

Paxton said he is “confident” that Will Scharf, who’s working alongside the former president to appeal his conviction on 34 felony counts in New York, is the best person to “protect the freedoms and liberties” of Missouri residents.

“I wholeheartedly endorse Will Scharf for Missouri Attorney General,” Paxton said in a statement shared with Fox News Digital. “I know Will personally, and I am confident that he is the right person to protect the freedoms and liberties of all Missourians. As one of President Trump’s lead attorneys, Will Scharf is relentlessly battling against Biden’s witch hunt into President Trump.”

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“If he can defend and fight for President Trump, he most certainly can take on the Republican establishment in Missouri. We need more leaders like Will,” added Paxton, who has served as attorney general for the Lone Star State since 2015.

Offering appreciation for the Republican attorney general’s support, Scharf said in a statement, “Ken Paxton has been on the front lines of the legal fights to secure the border and defend President Trump. It is a great honor to have his endorsement, and I look forward to working with him.”

Scharf is seeking to defeat incumbent Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey in the state’s Aug. 6 primary election. The winner of that primary will move on to the state’s November general election, where they will have an advantage in the GOP-dominated state.

Scharf received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, his law degree from Harvard University, clerked for two federal appeals court judges and has worked at CRC Advisors, a conservative public relations firm.

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In addition to being one of Trump’s lawyers, Scharf has worked as an assistant U.S. Attorney in St. Louis, and worked on the campaign and later in the office of then-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

Bailey has spent nearly his entire career in Missouri. The Army veteran received his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Missouri, worked in the state attorney general’s office, and he was an assistant county prosecutor and a state government lawyer before joining the office of Gov. Mike Parson, who eventually appointed him as attorney general.

In recent weeks, prominent conservative groups from outside Missouri have spent millions backing Scharf.

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The Republican Attorneys General Association, which normally supports GOP attorney general incumbents, has stayed out of the Missouri primary. Some of the association’s biggest contributors, however, are backing Scharf. They’re doing so by making contributions to a Missouri arm of Club for Growth, a major funding power that focuses on aiding fiscally conservative candidates and that, in turn, is airing ads to boost Scharf and criticize Bailey.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.