Angela Paxton, the wife of Attorney General Ken Paxton, is running for the state Senate.

"After much prayer I’m excited to step forward with overwhelming support and encouragement from my family, long-time friends, district, regional and statewide conservative leaders, elected officials, precinct chairs and citizens from all across Senate District 8," Paxton says on a campaign website that launched Wednesday.

Paxton, a guidance counselor at Legacy Christian Academy in Frisco, is seeking the seat in Senate District 8 that Van Taylor, R-Plano, is vacating to run for Congress. Her chief opponent is Phillip Huffines, the Dallas County GOP chairman and twin brother of state Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas.

Paxton promises to be a formidable candidate. She already has the backing of a number of state representatives from the area — including two who had considered taking on Huffines but ultimately decided against it, Reps. Jeff Leach and Matt Shaheen of Plano.

One key issue in the race is expected to be the candidates' roots in the district, which includes a large part of Collin County. Huffines is not originally from the county, while Paxton has been a longtime resident.

After clearing the field of Leach and Shaheen, Huffines' path to victory appeared clear last month. But that changed on Aug. 22, when the Tribune first reported that Paxton was mulling a run.

In recent days, Huffines' campaign has been working to build support ahead of a potential Paxton run. On Friday, Huffines secured the endorsement of conservative megadonor Farris Wilks, who said in a statement that Huffines is an "ironclad conservative that we need in the Texas Senate to fight against liberal policies."

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

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