Analysis: Texas issues that play on the national stage

Editor’s note: If you’d like an email notice whenever we publish Ross Ramsey’s column, click here . If you would like to listen to the column, just click on the play button below. Immigration. The U.S.-Mexico border. Wall-building. Abortion rights. Voting rights. Election laws. The Second Amendment and gun rights. Critical race theory. Transgender athletes. Do those sound like state issues, or national issues? When you hear that list — which is representative, but not complete — do you think of it coming from someone seeking a job in Austin, or a job in Washington? It could be both, or neither. But it comes from Gov. Greg Abbott , who appeared two years ago as a centrist Republican trying to get property tax and school finance legislation through a Legislature that was marked by recent Democratic gains. This year’s much more conservative theme follows a 2020 election where Texas Republicans held their ground. More importantly, it leads into a political year when Abbott will be seeking reelection with a Democratic president in office — usually a good sign for GOP candidates — and after this Republican Legislature draws a set of political maps that strengthen their hold on the majority in the Texas Capitol. Add in persistent political whispering that Abbott might be considering a run for president in 2024, and that list of Texas issues being chased by the governor has national overtones. Abbott has to survive reelection, a job that became considerably simpler with the endorsement of […]

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