Abbott, O’Rourke lead off election year with visits to border cities

Abbott, O'Rourke lead off election year with visits to border cities

Gov. Gret Abbott, left, and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke. (Credit: Texas Tribune) The race for Texas governor was kickstarted Saturday as Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke returned to the campaign trail along the U.S.-Mexico border. Abbott formally announced his bid for a third term in McAllen, saying he was running to “keep Texas on the right course.” Minutes earlier, O’Rourke was back on the stump in his hometown of El Paso, accusing Abbott of not listening to border communities like his. During Abbott’s roughly half-hour speech in McAllen, he focused on issues that included taxes, education and law enforcement. The governor largely avoided some of the most dramatic chapters he has faced in his second term, including the coronavirus pandemic and the power-grid failure after February’s winter storm. While Abbott did not mention O’Rourke by name, he made a few clear references to him and broadly attacked Democrats. “We cannot let big-government liberals redesign our state with the progressive agenda that is destroying some parts of America,” Abbott said. “We need a proven winner who will fight to secure the future of Texas. That is why today I am in the Rio Grande Valley to officially announce my reelection.” Abbott delivered the speech at his campaign’s Hispanic Leadership Summit, a notable setting as Republicans set out ambitious plans for 2022 in South Texas. President Joe Biden underperformed last year in the predominantly Hispanic, traditionally Democratic area. Abbott, who according to exit polling received 44% and […]

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