Texas Governor Greg Abbott officially launched his re-election campaign in the Rio Grande Valley. The event on Saturday was held in McAllen and was attended by hundreds of people. Abbott is running for his third term as governor.
Any mention of re-election was noticeably absent in his appearances and speeches before the formal announcement. He delivered a brief sentence about the need for a “proven winner” and then moved on to highlight his accomplishments. “We need a proven winner who will fight to secure Texas’ future.” Instead of focusing on the reasons to vote for him rather than his Republican challengers in the primary, Abbott didn’t even mention them by name. Among those delivering Abbott’s first real primary challenges are former Texas GOP Chair Allen West, former state Sen. Don Huffines, and BlazeTV Host Chad Prather. The primary race got ugly months ago. Huffines quickly began running ads not long after he launched his campaign last May. He served in the Texas Senate from 2015-19. He lost to Democrat Nathan Johnson in 2018. His criticism of Abbott includes what he calls Abbott’s slowness in re-opening the state during the pandemic. Ironically, Abbott named Huffine’s brother, James, as chairman of the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas. Maybe Huffines should talk to his brother.
Clearly, Abbott is courting the Hispanic vote, which is a smart thing to do, given Republican inroads in recent elections. Abbott won 44% of the Hispanic vote in his 2014 campaign. In his second run for governor, he received 42% in 2018. Abbott focused on touting the business climate in Texas and businesses moving to Texas even during the pandemic. More businesses, more jobs.
“Despite the unprecedented challenges that we’ve faced, Texas has persevered. Now more businesses are moving here, and more Texans are working here than ever before,” Abbott said.
According to his campaign, Texas welcomed the headquarters of 73 new businesses — an all-time record — bringing “thousands of high paying jobs” to the Lone Star State.
Abbott talked about securing the border as his likely challenger in the general election, Robert Francis (Beto) O’Rourke, criticized the governor’s actions.
Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke said Abbott “should trust border communities to make their own decisions in their backyard.”
“Everything Abbott has meddled with for his own political gain has failed. Look no further than … the Texas National Guard deployed for Operation Lonestar,” O’Rourke said in an email, referring to recent reports of suicides and pay issues among the National Guardsmen that Abbott has sent to the border.
Interesting take by Beto. Leaving it up to local communities is how Abbott has proceeded all along. He responded to local communities and their cries for help as illegal migrants flooded their towns. Beto is from El Paso, which isn’t the Rio Grande Valley. El Paso is a 10-12 hour drive from the RGV. It is about 4 hours from the border of New Mexico. El Paso has security measures in place to protect the city, including concrete barriers. Abbott has made securing the southern border a centerpiece issue during the Biden border crisis.
Yesterday Abbott received a big endorsement from the National Border Patrol Council during a visit to Edinburgh, Texas. The endorsement came with a slam to Beto.
“He puts it as necessary for Texas first, he is doing what the federal government has refused to do, and for that, I am extremely grateful. For those reasons, I am very proud to announce that we are endorsing Governor Abbott in his re-election bid,” said Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council.
“In contrast to Beto O’Rourke to Governor Abbott there’s great concern simply because his track record also speaks for itself and has been an open borders advocate in the past,” said Judd.
Judd hopes if Abbott is re-elected- he will continue sending help to agents along the border.
“What I am hoping he is going to continue to do, is he is going to continue to implore the resources that are necessary to fill those gaps and cover what we just can’t cover.” Judd goes on to say, “he’s going to go after fentanyl, that he is going to go after the criminality that exists on the border.”
The primary election will take place on March 1, 2022.