Just hours after former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat gun control advocate, announced his run for governor of Texas in the 2022 midterm election, current Republican Gov. Greg Abbott responded with a blistering attack against his Democrat challenger.
Abbott detailed several damaging policies that O’Rourke wants to impose on Texas citizens, including defunding the police, allowing open borders, gun control, and strict oil and gas regulation. Abbott even claimed that O’Rourke would “impose socialism” in Texas.
Accepting Beto’s challenge, the governor replied, “Bring it.”
O’Rourke announced his decision to run for governor of Texas on Monday, claiming his campaign will, “Push past the small and divisive politics that we see in Texas today-and get back to the big, bold vision that used to define Texas.”
Texan residents are very familiar by now with O’Rourke’s liberal policies, however, which became apparent in both his unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign in 2018 and his failed presidential campaign in 2020. O’Rourke’s senatorial campaign ultimately lost to pro-gun Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
O’Rourke is once again attempting to win a statewide contest in Texas, which has been a conservative stronghold for many years. While Democrats see an opportunity in several of the big cities and suburbs of Texas, which are at risk of going blue, Republicans remain confident that conservative policies will prevail over liberal policies in Texas.
Governor Abbott has become one of the most popular Republican governors throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, choosing to follow Florida’s example in respecting personal freedoms over government mandates. Under Abbott’s leadership, Texas has even sued the Biden administration’s controversial mandate requiring businesses over 100 employees to force their employees to be vaccinated.
O’Rourke’s challenge to Abbott is certain to gain the attention of the media. Democrats would love to gain control of Texas and shift the state from red to blue before the next presidential election in 2024, despite that it’s highly unlikely.
The governor’s race in Texas will be a major story to watch in the 2022 midterms, but Abbott remains un-phased by O’Rourke’s bid.