AUSTIN, Texas — Texas state representatives voted to impeach Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Saturday afternoon after hours of debate on the house floor.
A vast majority of representatives voted in favor of impeachment, with the final vote being 121-23. Two members also voted present and there were three absences.
Since the impeachment proceedings came to a close, a number of local representatives around North Texas have published statements reacting to the news.
State Rep. Rhetta Andrews Bowers, who represents the 113th District encompassing parts of Garland, Mesquite and Rowlett, was one of many who voted in favor of impeachment.
"Today was a somber and solemn day in the Texas House, and the decision that we were asked to make today weighed heavily on my heart and mind," Bowers wrote in a statement. "I listened diligently to the information provided by the General Investigating Committee and the following debate on the House Floor, and based on the extensive evidence provided, and after deep thought and prayer on the topic, I came to the conclusion that General Paxton did commit crimes against Texas."
Bowers also said she is not celebrating the decision or the vote, nor does she enjoy the process.
"This kind of behavior erodes public trust in our institutions, and as elected officials, we must stamp out corruption at every turn. It is not a partisan Democratic or Republican issue, it is about the very function of a government by the people, for the people," Bowers concluded in the statement.
The Collin County Republican Legislative Delegation released a joint statement following the impeachment vote, and said that the evidence became clear to them after hours of debate to vote to commend the articles of impeachment to the State Senate for a fair trial.
State Rep. Rafael Anchia issued a statement saying he approached the decision to impeach impartially and with a reverence for his responsibility to the people of Texas.
"Based on today’s proceedings, I am convinced that strong evidence exists that Attorney General Ken Paxton consistently abused his office for personal gain, including but not limited to, Disregard of Official Duty, Constitutional Bribery, Obstruction of Justice, Dereliction of Duty and Abuse of Public Trust," Anchia said in a statement.
State Rep. Kronda Thimesch, who represents the 65th District in North Texas, released a statement saying she made a difficult decision to move forward in the investigation of Paxton.
"I understand that some of you may not agree with my vote or with the decision of the House today," Thimesch said in a statement. "I am at peace with my decision because I have been guided by my faith, my values, and my ability to read and synthesize the evidence in question."
North Texas State Rep. David L. Cook released a statement saying he found "sufficient grounds to justify presentment of charges" to adopt articles of impeachment, except for three articles, which he voted against.
"I did strongly question the immediacy of this suspension without General Paxton first having a full evidentiary trial on the merits," Cook said in the statement. "However, when weighing this suspension pending impeachment versus my oath of office, I firmly believe I was compelled to vote in the affirmative."