Tom Pauken, candidate for the Texas GOP gubernatorial nomination, issued the following statement noting the failure of leadership in the Texas Attorney General’s office which has precipitated U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement that he will take Texas to court over alleged voting rights issues.

Pauken’s statement follows:

“In 2005 Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had the opportunity to go to Washington to get us and several other states out from under the control of the U.S. Department of Justice with regards to the Voting Rights Act. The timing was perfect. A Texan was President, and the Republicans controlled both the U.S. House and Senate. Something could have been done.

“But here we are, eight years later, facing another 25 years of subjugation to ongoing legal battles with the Justice Department over their politically-motivated attempts to control voting rights in Texas, diverting our time and resources from real challenges.

“As the Texas Attorney General in 2005, Greg Abbott failed a test of leadership in not persuading Republicans in Washington to end this once and for all. He was asleep at the switch. It leads one to wonder whether those in the AG’s office are paid by the hour.

“As Governor, I will proactively fight for Texas sovereignty against over-reaching federal bureaucrats.”