Jessica M. Karmasek Nov. 21, 2013, 8:50pm

HOUSTON (Legal Newsline) -- Attorney Sam Houston officially filed his papers to run for Texas attorney general Thursday.

Houston is the first Democrat to file to run for attorney general. He currently is a partner at the Houston-area law firm Shepherd Scott Clawater & Houston LLP.

In a statement, he said he vows to change the "partisan atmosphere" of the current office.

"After years of watching Greg Abbott use the Texas Attorney General's Office to advance his political career, I want the office to get back to the business of serving Texas," he said.

"Texans need an attorney general that works to represent them and not just certain partisan special interests."

Houston contends that any of the current Republican candidates running would work to maintain the obstructionist bias that has become the status quo under Abbott, who is running for governor after Gov. Rick Perry announced he would not seek another term in office.

"Texas deserves to have a hard-working attorney representing the state, and not someone who has spent their life climbing the political ladder," Houston said.

"While politically-motivated lawsuits may grab headlines, they don't protect Texas consumers, help single parents collect child support payments, or defend and promote the individual rights of everyday Texans."

Houston, who lives in Houston with wife Jantha and their two children, earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from Baylor University.

State Sen. Ken Paxton, state Rep. Dan Branch and Barry Smitherman, the head of the Texas Railroad Commission, are running for the GOP nomination.

Tom Glass, vice-chairman of the Texas Libertarian Party and who has spent more than 20 years as an IT guy for an oil company, is a Libertarian candidate for attorney general.

The filing deadline for candidates is Dec. 9.

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