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Paxton, Branch advance to attorney general runoff

Published On: Mar 04 2014 09:36:10 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 05 2014 09:13:07 AM CST
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -

Texas state lawmakers Dan Branch and Ken Paxton have advanced to a runoff for the Republican nomination for attorney general.

Branch, a state representative from Dallas, and Paxton, a senator from McKinney, are vying to replace Greg Abbott, who is running for governor.

Branch and Paxton finished ahead of Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman. Each claimed he was the most conservative candidate in the race.

Branch and Paxton have both served in the Legislature since 2003. Branch co-authored the 2005 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Texas and is chairman of the House higher education committee.

Paxton served in the House from 2003-2012 before being elected to the state Senate.