Paxton sues 2 more TX school districts, Huffman, Aledo ISDs, for illegal electioneering

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing two more North Texas school districts for allegedly using state resources to influence political races through illegal electioneering.

Paxton is suing Huffman ISD and Aledo ISD, the Office of the Attorney General announced in a news release Friday.

During a school meeting at Hargrave High School, Huffman ISD superintendent Benny Soileau instructed faculty to vote for 16 specific politicians who supported certain policies, the release says. When school staff asked for a list of the endorsed politicians, Soileau said that a Huffman ISD administrator would provide it, the suit alleges.

Aledo ISD officials are also being accused of using school resources to promote certain political policies and measures, according to the release.

In a post on X, Aledo ISD said the district is being sued for electioneering for sending a community email that read, “discussing the school’s budget and how voting in the primary election would greatly impact Aledo schools.”

“To suggest that our public school budget is not impacted by this Primary Election — the Primary Election through which those who make decisions for funding for public schools will be elected — certainly seems less than transparent to us,” the district said in the post.

The district says that after consulting with legal counsel, it is determined that the email cited by the Office of the Attorney General did not constitute electioneering.

“In all things, we work hard to be transparent and make sure our community and staff are well informed,” the district said in the post. “We also believe that exercising one’s right to vote is a civic duty that should be encouraged and promoted.”

While the Office of the Attorney General cannot prosecute criminal violations of the Election Code, Paxton is seeking civil injunctive relief.

“School districts should be aware that illegal electioneering is criminal conduct and violators could be subject to criminal prosecution by local authorities,” the Office of Attorney General said in the release. “While unable to criminally prosecute violators at this time, Attorney General Paxton is committed to using all available means to protect the integrity of Texas elections.”

The lawsuits come just days after Paxton filed suits against Denton, Frisco, Denison, and Castleberry ISDs for similar allegations.

Castleberry ISD agreed to an injunction against electioneering and Frisco ISD has been placed under a temporary restraining order, according to the release.