Border issues focus of TX gubernatorial campaign kickoff


EDINBURG, Texas (NewsNation Now) —  Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke kicked off their campaign season in the Lone Star state over the weekend, with each of them hosting events in border towns.

On Saturday, Abbott officially announced his reelection campaign at the Hispanic Leadership Summit in Rio Grande Valley.

“We need a proven winner who will fight to secure the future of Texas,” Abbott said at the event. “That is why, today, I am here in the Rio Grande Valley to officially announce my reelection to run for your governor of the great state of Texas.”

During the Biden administration, Abbott has become best known for his tough stance on immigration and deploying 10,000 National Guard soldiers and state troopers to the border.

His challenger, Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke, also kicked off his campaign this weekend by going door to door to meet voters. O’Rourke pointed out that he is from a border city and that he will react differently to the crisis. 

“Unfortunately, Governor Abbott sees the Rio Grande Valley and the border communities as a threat. That’s why he comes down to the valley to take pictures in front of the border wall and to describe the military response we need to have.”

On Monday, the National Border Patrol Council endorsed Abbott’s reelection campaign. The governor met with the council Monday afternoon, at their headquarters in Edinburg, Texas. Council President Brandon Judd cited Abbott’s handling of the situation on the U.S. southern border.

“We’re in an unprecedented crisis, something that we’ve never seen before,” Judd said. “It is not humane what is taking place on the border today. it is not humane when we see images like what happened in Del Rio, Texas under that bridge. What is humane is when people like the governor are willing to step up to the plate and recognize that what made this country great is law and order.’

O’Rourke and Abbott are not the final two candidates running for governor. Independent candidate Deirdre Gilbert is also running against the incumbent governor. Some of the other Republican candidates include former Texas state Sen. Don Huffines and Lt. Col. (retired) Allen West.

The primary election for the Texas governor seat will take place March 1. The general election will take place Nov. 8.

NewsNation affiliate ValleyCentral contributed to this report.

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