Texas Attorney General and Wife Traveled out of State Amid Winter Storm Crisis

February 23, 2021 Updated: February 23, 2021

Texas’s attorney general left the state amid the winter storms last week.

“Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton visited Utah last week and met with Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes at various times Wednesday-Friday,” a spokesman for Reyes told The Epoch Times via email.

Paxton and Reyes met in Salt Lake City and discussed current investigations and litigation, including antitrust actions against Google.

“The Texas AG was also able to experience and evaluate Utah’s law enforcement firearm de-escalation training system called VIRTRA at our Murray office, south of Salt Lake. The office does not have further information on the Texas Attorney General’s schedule,” the spokesman added.

Paxton’s office and campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment.

A spokesman for the Republican told news outlets that Paxton did travel to Utah to meet with Reyes.

A campaign spokesman told CNN that Paxton and his wife “did not leave Texas until after power had returned to most of the state, including his own home.”

“Attorney General Paxton attended a previously planned meeting with the attorney general of Utah to discuss several matters,” Prior added.

Texas was slammed with storms earlier this month, leading to power outages and deaths.

houston power
An electrical substation is reflected in water in Houston, Texas on Feb. 21, 2021. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Paxton is at least the third official to have left the state as residents were dealing with the crisis.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) flew to Cancun, Mexico, last week.

After returning, he said the trip was “obviously a mistake.”

“In hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it,” Cruz said, Fox News reports. “I was trying to be a dad and all of us have made decisions, when you have two girls who have been cold for two days and haven’t had heat or power and they’re saying, ‘Hey look, we don’t have school, let’s get out of here.'”

State Rep. Gary Gates, a Republican, also left the state, but said he took his family to Florida because his home was flooded.

Gates told the Houston Chronicle that his pipes burst, leaving his ill wife and daughter, who has special needs, at risk.

Democrats decried Paxton’s trip, similar to their reaction to Cruz traveling outside of Texas.

“Does @KenPaxtonTX not have a Zoom account?” Chris Turner, the Texas House Democratic Caucus chair, said in a tweet. “In a week when there were multiple reports of price gouging, the top official charged with consumer protection was out of state. And he wants his budget increased?”

“Texans are getting $15,000 electric bills—you are the state’s consumer cop and you abandoned ship when Texans needed your support?” added state Rep. Trey Martinez Discher, a Democrat.

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