By Gromer Jeffers Jr.

Angela Paxton, the wife of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, has officially launched a campaign for Texas Senate.

She's seeking the District 8 seat once held by her husband, who gave it up in 2015 to become the state's top law enforcement official.

Angela Paxton told supporters Wednesday on her new campaign website that she looked forward to representing the "conservative values" of her community.

"Senate District 8 has been my heart and home for more than 20 years, so I'm looking forward to working with YOU to protect the Constitution and represent the conservative values of the people of the community we all know and love so well," Paxton wrote. "After much prayer I'm excited to step forward with overwhelming support and encouragement from my family, long-time friends, district, regional and statewide conservative leaders, elected officials, precinct chairs and citizens from all across Senate District 8."

Paxton will face Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Phillip Huffines in the March 6 GOP Senate primary. They are vying for the post held by Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, who is running to replace retiring Plano Republican Sam Johnson in Congress.

"I'm happy to welcome Angela Paxton to the race for Texas Senate District 8," Huffines wrote in a prepared statement. "While many people are focused on personalities, my campaign has, and will remain, focused on the issues that voters care about, like fixing illegal immigration, Obamacare, and property taxes--and stopping growth of government."

Paxton, R-McKinney, emerged as a contender for the Senate seat when Plano Reps. Matt Shaheen and Jeff Leach opted to run for re-election instead of entering a fight with Huffines.

A Christian schoolteacher and singer/songwriter, Paxton is expected to tout her connections to Collin County while casting Huffines as an opportunist.

Huffines, who is looking to join his twin brother, Don, in the Senate, moved from Highland Park into the Richardson portion of the district earlier this year.

Ken Paxton offered a preview of his wife's campaign narrative during a recent interview on Mark Davis' radio show in Dallas.

"She's lived in the district for 21 years, that is a huge advantage over Philip -- obviously, he's moved up from Highland Park," Paxton said. "She knows a lot of people in and of herself. And given that I've represented that area for 12 years and now serving as AG -- that district was my district, so we know it well, we know the people in it well, and that'll be really helpful to her if she decides to do this."

But Huffines has said his family has done business in Collin County for more than 90 years, including running their popular car dealerships.

Paxton immediately asked her supporters for help.

"I know the power of the grassroots, so as we begin this campaign, I hope you'll get involved!" she wrote.

Huffines said he's ready for Paxton.

"My campaign has been working hard for the last five months knocking on thousands of doors, talking to voters and earning their support," he said. "I look forward to continuing to spread my conservative message."

The Paxton/Huffines contest is one of three major Republican Senate races. On Tuesday Rep. Cindy Burkett of Sunnyvale announced that she's challenging incumbent Bob Hall of Edgewood in Senate District 2, and Rep. Pat Fallon of Frisco is running against incumbent Craig Estes of Wichita Falls in Senate District 30.

(c)2017 The Dallas Morning News