Jessica M. Karmasek Oct. 15, 2013, 4:00pm

McKINNEY, Texas (Legal Newsline) -- Ken Paxton, one of three Republicans vying to become Texas' next attorney general, received a slew of endorsements last week.

On Thursday, Paxton's campaign announced endorsements from Matt Orwig and John Ratcliffe, former U.S. attorneys who served under former President George W. Bush, and former Texas state district judge Cliff Stricklin, who also served in various roles with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Paxton also was endorsed by former assistant U.S. attorneys Jay Johnson and Kevin Collins.

"Those who have worked with Sen. Paxton are impressed by his keen legal analysis and ability to skillfully navigate complex issues," Orwig said in a statement. "He's a man we can trust to represent our state well and not compromise on matters of principle."

Ratcliffe pointed to Paxton's "unshakable integrity" and his "abiding respect" for the U.S. Constitution.

"For those reasons, I'm pleased to endorse Sen. Ken Paxton. His clear record of commitment to constitutional principles makes him the only choice for genuine conservatives," he said.

Stricklin said he has worked with Paxton for more than 20 years and knows him to be an individual of "principle and integrity."

"His ability to think through complicated legal issues is unparalleled, and he will effectively represent the interests of his fellow citizens," he said.

Johnson agreed.

"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," he said.

Collins called Paxton an "excellent choice" for attorney general.

"His strong conservative principles are reflected in his 11-year record of public service," he said.

Paxton, a practicing attorney from McKinney, was first elected to the Texas Senate in 2012 after serving five terms in the House of Representatives.

He, along with state Rep. Dan Branch and Barry Smitherman, the head of the Texas Railroad Commission, are running for the GOP nomination.

Current Attorney General Greg Abbott is running for governor, following Gov. Rick Perry's announcement that he would not seek another term in office.

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